Spring equinox heralds start of the season, even if it feels like summer

By Elizabeth Flock At 1:14 am Tuesday morning, the vernal equinox quietly arrived, signaling the much-awaited start of spring. The vernal equinox is one of just two times during the year when the length of day and night are almost equal.

On the left are the winter and summer solstices, seen from space by a NASA satellite; on the right are the equinoxes. Click on the photo to visit the NASA Earth Observatory website with a great explanation. SUMMIT COUNTY

Caption: Ostara is the celebration of the vernal equinox, and the goddess Eostre. Above, Eostre flies through the air with symbols of spring, rebirth and fertility. Ostara, or the vernal equinox, is upon us and night and day are in perfect balance.

At precisely 1:14 a.m. on March 20, the sun passed directly over the equator, marking the vernal equinox and the start of spring. That's as simple astronomically as it gets, but that of course is Mother Earth's sign to awake from

Lo, the first day of spring, and with it, the traditional crop of fresh smugness from Spring People. You'll recognize Spring People from their unshakable insistence on the superiority of the current season, their perennial and short-lived interest in