We may not have robins and melting snow, but Tucson has a gorgeous array of signs that tell us spring has sprung.

Lizard/Ryn Gargulinski

Lizard/Ryn Gargulinski

Spring has always been my favorite season, when a dull dead Earth comes back to life – just like my brain.

Since I am one of those lucky folks who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, spring is my own reawakening after several months of wanting to do nothing but drown myself in naps and supermarket tabloids.

My first inkling of spring is when the morning sun blinds me on the back porch. This blinding is gorgeous.

It’s also the reason I installed a massive patio blind that falls off its tracks if you pull the cords too rigorously.

Endless news releases about rattlesnakes are another spring dead give-away.

One Tucsonan, who chimed in when I asked about signs of spring on Facebook, insisted we have no spring. “I say we have four or five versions of summer and about two months of not summer.”

So true. But there is a cozy zone between wearing gloves to do outdoor morning artwork and wearing oven mitts to open our car doors. This zone is best reflected in our electricity and gas bills, as both are merrily affordable for a scant few weeks.

Spring evening/Ryn Gargulinski

Spring evening/Ryn Gargulinski

Tucsonan Andrew Ulanowski hit the nail on the head.

“I know it is spring when the license plates turn back to mainly Arizona, flocks of Winnebagos head north for the summer and the reduced number of left-turn blinkers going down the road for miles.”

Others mentioned dining al fresco, which some will do year-round in Tucson – the snowbirds often wearing shorts.

“Pollen, sneezing, watering eyes, sinus headache,” said one Tucson woman. “Need I say more?” She later added, “The flowers are nice, too.”

Longer daylight hours are another fine sign several mentioned, excited that it’s still light out at 7 p.m. We no longer have to scramble home from the dog walks by 6 p.m. to avoid the coyotes.

The Tucson list was rounded out by baby lizards and using the screen door, which is really a heavy duty steel security door with cactus, hummingbirds and other metal welded designs.

A few from the East Coast and Midwest also chimed in, duly reminding me why I moved from both regions.

“Up here in the frigid Midwest,” said one, “the first sign of spring is when the snow is all melted and I can pull out the Harley.”

Another said it’s hauling her bike up from the basement, which she will get to soon.

In Tucson we don’t have to store our bicycles in the basement for the winter. And not just because we don’t have basements. My bike sits nicely in my garage, albeit untouched and with two deflated tires, all year long.

Melted snow puddles and leaving my pea coat gaping open are two shining memories of spring in Michigan.

New York City has a massive telltale sign of the changing season. You know winter is over for sure when all the garbage and subway stairs begin to reek again.


Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who will never miss snow. Her column usually appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski but this week Friday is reserved for Tales from the Posse. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.Etsy.com. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.

Spring evening/Ryn Gargulinski

Spring evening/Ryn Gargulinski

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What sings spring for you?

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Does anyone actually like winter the best?