Winter in the Houston area usually comes and goes with nothing noteworthy to mention, but this year has been a different story to write home about. So, it is no surprise that the arrival of Spring will be truly something to look forward to in 2021! Spring represents so many wonderful changes like renewal, cleansing, and growth. Whether you like warmer seasons or not, it is a time that brings many positive benefits everyone’s way.
1. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME “Saves the Day”
One of the first changes is daylight savings time. Everyone knows the old sayings; spring forward and fall back. We do it every year, and both changes have their pros and cons. In Spring, it is the loss of an hour but it is also the gain of more light at the end of the day. Although, it did not actually start in the U.S. until 1918, George Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand, came up with the modern idea way back in 1895. This new concept would give him more time to go bug hunting in the summer. It does save energy and we all can make better use of our daylight
2. THE PRESENCE OF BIRDS ABOUND.
Another great change in Spring is birds that have migrated south during Winter return. Spring is a time of reproduction for them, and they start looking for mates immediately. Birds flying in the air and singing their songs are one of the wonderful parts of the season. There is a saying for the birds in Spring as well, ““Bluebirds are a sign of Spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.” Enjoy all you bird watchers out there!
3. THERE IS GROWTH AND GREENERY ALL AROUND.
Along with the lovely birds, the other wonderful change is growth. Leaves come back, plants grow, and flowers are in bloom. Usually, around the middle of March, trees will start growing new leaves. This makes way for some wonderful outdoor shade. This growth is a very important factor in keeping cities comfortable. When trees release more water back into the air through evaporation, it can cool down the areas around them up to 9 F, according to the EPA.
4. SUN AND PLANTS MAKE FOR GREAT AIR QUALITY.
While those leaves are working to cool us with shade, the sun is also helping plants grow and work their photosynthesis magic. As plants start to grow in the Spring they are converting sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into food releasing oxygen in the process. This helps our breathing environment immensely, and that is something we all especially need right now.
5. MORE FRESH PRODUCE TO FILL OUR PLATES.
Next on the list of positives is there are lots of great fruits and vegetables that are harvested in the Spring. Your mom knew what she was talking about when she said to eat your vegetables! In a study back in 2016 of more than 12,000 Australians that increased their intake of fruits and vegetables, researchers found that these veggie eaters felt happier, and higher rates of life satisfaction. So, eat your vegetables everyone!
6. FLOWERS BLOSSOM BEFORE OUR EYES.
Now for the crown of Spring, the flowers. These lovely perennials, sense the days have grown longer, and the weather is warmer. After conserving energy for months, they begin to bloom. This proves to be a wonderful thing for us humans. A study back in 2008 of hospital patients found that having flowers in the rooms helped people feel more positive and reduced their pain and anxiety. Once again, nature is a healer of the body and soul!
7. WE CAN STEP OUTDOORS TO WORKOUT MORE.
With all these positive vibes flowing through the air, why not open your windows for some fresh air, and maybe go out and get some exercise? While it is important to get your work out in no matter what the weather has to bestow, research has shown that getting exercise outdoors can be more beneficial. A study in 2011 that exercising outdoors naturally increased energy levels compared to indoor workouts. People that did their exercise outdoors, also said they enjoyed it more, and were more likely to get back out there and do it again.
8. THE PERFECT TIME FOR TRIPS TO PARKS AND LAKES.
Yes, Spring is upon us, and we all have a lot to look forward to, and even more reasons to step out into the great outdoors. Now let’s talk a little about some of the wonderful things that the Houston area has to offer. If you like adventure, you can kayak through Buffalo Bayou. Water and boats your thing? Enjoy a boat ride at Lake Conroe. Want a great workout? Run the outer loop of Rice University. Want to go on a lovely walk by yourself or with those you love? Plan a trip to Mercer Botanic Gardens, where you can walk arboretum trails on the west side or beautiful flower trails on the east. While you are there you can take a look at one of Harris County’s Libraries, Baldwin Boettcher’s Little Blue Library! That leads to another wonderful activity; reading outdoors. Whatever you do this Spring, get outside and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer. Step out, and Spring forward everyone!
For more information, take a look at our website at hcpl.net or call your local library branch to place holds on books or movies on this subject and more. You can also schedule a curbside pick-up! We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Here are various books on Spring and subjects here for your outdoor reading pleasure: