"No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn." – Hal Borland
It first appears as a barely perceptible chink in winter's armour, more like a change in attitude than a change in weather, and builds from there.
It's a huge dump of snow that's measured not by the number of days to clear the streets, but by the amount of time until it melts; it's the realization that the sky is bright after dinner; it's wisps of morning fog lifting in the sunshine; it's skates traded in for roller blades and pucks put aside for tennis balls; it's the Stanley Cup playoffs; it's cheering on a local hero at the first outdoor rodeo of the season.
Near Savona, BC
It's crisp, dry air supplanted by the rich smell of damp earth; it's sighting the first robin and noting the date and time; it's snow geese arriving by the thousands; it's sugaring off; it's spotting buds on the branches and anticipating the greenery to come; it's realizing the barren landscape is no longer barren.
South Lancaster, ON
It's a crack in the ice one week and petals on the pavement the next; it's daffodils and crocuses pushing through the frozen ground; it's replacing snow shovels and snowblowers with rakes and lawnmowers; it's going to work wearing gloves, scarf and winter coat and walking home in shirtsleeves; it's regaling anyone within earshot with accounts of encounters with giant potholes; it's sidewalk plows in the morning and sidewalk cafés in the evening; it's the resurgence of bicycles and the reappearance of muscle cars.
It's turning up the thermostat, then switching off the heat, then putting on the air conditiioning – all before noon; it's no longer complaining about how cold it is, but complaining about how warm it is; it's politicans behaving badly (some things never change); it's the week the leaves emerge and the world goes from humdrum to technicolour; it's birth and awakening.
It arrived today at 11:02 GMT. To view it and other seasons, please visit our gallery.