It’s spring! Day for sunglasses, galoshes and rituals

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on March 20, 2011

San Francisquito Creek on March 20, 2011

Menlo residents who awoke around 8:00 this morning were greeted by birds singing and rays of sunshine — appropriate for the first day of spring. The vernal equinox — day and night are approximately 12 hours long — arrives officially in the Bay Area at 4:21 PDT today.

Last night’s rain was pounding. “There was 1.1″ in my gauge,” reports InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ. “This brings my season-to-date total to 17.05″ compared to 17.55″ at this date in 2010. A friend a bit higher and westward in Sharon Heights is at 21″.”

Those people who quickly grabbed sunglasses and set out for a morning walk, would have been wise to wear galoshes and pack an umbrella. The skies opened up again late morning, pouring down on the vendors at the Menlo Park Farmers Market, causing the two Girl Scout booths to pack up and head for home and the water in San Francisquito Creek to really roar.

If you’re looking for some family fun, the vernal equinox is the day you’re supposed to be able to balance an egg on its end. China is credited with starting this legend, which, according to the BBC, came to America in 1945 when Life magazine published an article about people balancing eggs in Chunking, China. Then in 1983 a woman named Donna Henes, who called herself an “artist and ritual maker” gathered about a hundred New Yorkers together to balance eggs at the exact time of the vernal equinox that year. So start your eggs and get balancing!

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