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     Spring: The spring equinox, also called the March equinox or vernal equinox, falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 p.m. EDT. This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. – The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Baby calves frolicking in the pasture.

Robins sitting on the clothesline.

Irises poking through the soil softened by long-awaited warmer temperatures.

All signs of spring, which begins today.

While it’s true that March often brings plenty of snow, it doesn’t last like it does in January. And for that we are thankful.

All the talk of global warming aside, many are looking back on this winter as one of the toughest in memory.

For the most part, I loved it . . . but I don’t have to work in it. I’ve always appreciated cold weather and snow. Growing up in Lyman County, we had plenty of the former and not much of the latter, though some winters, like this one ending today, brought an abundance.

My kid brother tells me he has piles of snow like he hasn’t seen in years.

Someone asked me the other day if I remembered the winter of 1951-52, acknowledging my senior citizen status.

I’m not sure if it was that particular winter, but it might have been because the snow was so deep that I got stuck in a snowdrift out by the windcharger north of the farmhouse. Our hired man, Urban Schoenfelder, happened to see me flailing away and came to the rescue.  Always liked Urban, both before and after the incident.

Heavy snow, with strong winds, is part of our state’s history and accounts for our nickname as “the blizzard state.”

The Schoolhouse Blizzard of Jan. 12, 1888, receives most of the notoriety and for good reason. What began as a balmy morning quickly turned cold and killed more than 200 people across several states, including South Dakota.

Much more recently was the devastating blizzard of October 2013, which killed thousands of cattle, many of which still could be seen along I-90 the following spring.

In my second semester of college in 1966, a record snowfall and high winds early in March caused all sorts of havoc not only for cattlemen, but anywhere that depended on electric power, which was out for days. The only upside was the cancellation of college classes.

That’s all behind us now, at least we hope it is, especially after last week.

Actually, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts flurries the week of March 17, which would be now, and more snow next week.

I recall 14-16 inches of snow piling up on our picnic table in April of 1994, so while spring has sprung officially, Old Man Winter doesn’t always go quietly.

March 20, 2019