Sunrise was at 4 am, sunset will be 11:40 this evening for 17 hours, 9 ½ minutes of daylight. We’re gaining 7 minutes a day, now. The sun is still almost 10° below the horizon at solar midnight, so there is faint light on the northern horizon all night. But the temperature’s up to 39°F by noon, and I’m taking the herbs outdoors during the daytime.

North yard, May 2 2011. Snow here is shaded, but it's thinning rapidly.

The snow is gone from the south yard, and wherever else undisturbed snow was exposed to the sun. Where it was piled up by snowplows, or in the shade, it lingers. But the chives are already green enough to pick (I had some with eggs last night) and I have started taking the mulch out of the perennial beds. By next week, the strawberry plants might be visible. Do I dare to believe spring is actually on its way?