Around March 21st, the earth's position in its orbit around the sun places its equator in line with the sun. This time period is called the vernal equinox and is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Vernal means spring and equinox means equal.
The ancient Greeks celebrated Rhea, "Mother of the Gods," with honey-cakes, beverages, and flowers at dawn--the earliest known Mother's Day celebration.
An area along the California and Oregon border produces 95 percent of all bulbs grown in the world for the potted Easter lily market. They produce more than 11 million bulbs annually.
Though baby birds are born with the ability to sing, they must learn the songs of their species. An isolated baby bird will learn simple songs, but not the complex songs of its species. A bird must hear in order to learn.
Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Monday in April; however, each state can select its own date, depending on weather conditions. The first Arbor Day Celebration was held on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska.
Spring Fever is a real physical condition which commonly occurs when a sudden warm spell follows a long cold period. When the temperature rises, the body has to get rid of heat; thus there's a dilation or expansion of the blood vessels so that blood can be carried to the body surface where heat can be lost quickly. Some people experience an energetic feeling when this change happens due to the body's reaction to the great amount of internal work going on.
And with spring comes.....
The bluebonnet became the Texas state flower in 1901. In 1971, the state legislature named all lupine species as the official state flower. The flower resembles a little bonnet, and as it ages, one of the top petals turns purple-red.
The Pink and White Lady Slipper (cypripedium reginae) is the State flower of Minnesota. Illegal to pick in the state, the pink and white lady slipper is one of Minnesota's rarest wildflowers. They can take up to 16 years to produce their first flower, and sometimes live for 50 years.
The creamy-white bloom of the magnolia tree was designated the state flower of Louisiana in 1900 because of the abundance of trees throughout the state. Magnolia is an evergreen and the flower is usually fragrant. After the six to twelve petals of the flower have fallen away the large cone shaped fruit of the magnolia is exposed.
The Peach Blossom became the State flower of Delaware on May 9, 1895. It was prompted by Delaware's reputation as the "Peach State," since her orchards contained more than 800,000 peach trees yielding a crop worth thousands of dollars at that time.
The Titan Arum is not only the world's largest flower it is also the world's smelliest.This native of the central Sumatran rainforests is known affectionately as the Corpse Flower for its heady perfume of rotting flesh.
The number of Begonia hybrids is estimated between 1,000 and 2,000. Within this enormous family there are plants which are tiny enough to grow in an egg shell and others which can cover a greenhouse wall.
Oh, yeah, and ....
The first men's college basketball game was played on January 18, 1896 between the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago. The final score? 15-12!
The first women's college basketball game was played on April 4, 1896 in San Francisco between Stanford and Cal. Stanford won the game 2-1, which was played with much different rules from modern basketball. There were nine players on each side and players could only play in certain areas of the court. Women weren't allowed to steal the ball from each other because it was considered "unladylike" and they had to wear clothes that covered every part of their body except their hands and face!
The first NCAA college basketball tournament, which is now known as March Madness, was played in 1939.
In 1913, the bottom of the basketball net was left open for the first time. This meant that it was no longer necessary to retrieve the ball from the net once a basket was scored.
In 1920, the backboards were moved two feet from the wall of the court. Before this rule change, players would "climb" the padded wall to sink baskets.
In 1967, the slam dunk was made illegal, but the much-loved dunk was made legal again in 1976. In 1986, the three-point field goal was introduced with the three-point line set at 19 feet, 9 inches from the center of the basket.
(Facts courtesy of the NCAA)