So This Is What Spring Feels Like

As a result of moving to Necochea from Philadelphia just before the start of the northern hemisphere's spring, I have lived an entire year of chilly, drizzly, snowy, icy, slippery, frosty, cloudy, blustery, gray and glum. Apart from two weeks of early spring weather that I enjoyed briefly last October when I visited Necochea with my parents, a seemingly eternal cycle of fall and winter – shortened days, gray skies, and all – has been the order of the day.

Though bone-chilling temperatures are far from the norm in these parts, on the coldest days I did struggle a bit to keep warm. Buildings in general are not well-insulated here, and windows tend to be rather drafty. On the chilliest of days I made sure to bundle up in various layers, and sometimes I'd take the laptop to bed in order to work huddled under the covers with the warmth of the cats at my side. Miraculously, I also made it through two consecutive cold-and-flu seasons virtually unscathed (just a minor cold back in Philadelphia), including dodging the bullet of the A/H1N1 swine flu floating around here and causing quite a panic.

On most winter days in Necochea the highs were in the 40s or 50s; the nighttime lows here were the highs for the day back in December, January and February in Philadelphia. In spite of warmer temperatures, the wind chill factor here will get your teeth chattering in no time (Necochea's almost constant coastal breeze sees to that). With that said, the moderating influence of the Atlantic ensures that it never snows here, and the milder winter weather means that we have some flowers to perk up the landscape, even in the dead of winter. I admit to feeling a twinge of envy when I saw a live telecast of the snow coming down in other parts of the province about eight weeks ago, but it was short-lived (both the snow and the envy).

After I left Philadelphia, there were no more chapped lips, no dry hands, no winter boots, no heavy winter coats, no snow days, no shovels and no ice scrapers. Honestly, winter here felt more like a long, drawn-out autumn minus the colorful fall foliage, but the heavy grayness took its toll on my spirit, and I'm pleased to welcome spring at last.

So as those of you in the northern hemisphere usher in the crisp fall days, here's what I'll be savoring:

Yellow Calendula Flowers by katiealley on Flickr [Yellow calendula]

Primavera en el Jardín Japonés | Springtime in the Japanese Garden by katiealley [Flowering Japanese cherry trees in Parque Miguel Lillo]

Cherry Blossoms by katiealley on Flickr[Cherry blossoms on the tree in our backyard]

Spring Wildflowers with the Quequén Lighthouse by katiealley on Flickr[These tiny wildflowers have popped up everywhere!]

Plum Tree Flowers by katiealley on Flickr[Plum tree flowers]

Happy spring!

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