FOR MOST OF US IN the Northern Hemisphere, spring is an eagerly awaited time that tells us winter — and the wait — is over, and the world is waking up once again. For snowboarders and skiers it can be a sad day, and for those living in hotter climates it can signal the start of the insidiously hot days to come — but for many of us it means release back into the great outdoors. With longer, milder days comes afternoons and weekends ripe and ready for adventure.
For those of us gearing up for springtime, here’s 15 seriously colorful images to get you packing your bags and ready to take on all that spring is about to offer.
1. A blazing orange sun sets on the Spring Equinox (the “Vernal” equinox is the proper name) and lines up perfectly with the water fountain at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California — and signals the start of spring.
2. It’s when skies light up pink over these sunflower fields — which bloom in late May and early June — just outside Fort Worth.
3. Spring also tells us it’s almost time to stroll through the lavender fields of Valensole, Provence, France.
4. In Japan, Mount Fuji erupts out of a sea of pink and purple by mid-May.
5. At the same time in Washington, Mount Baker (and Mount Hood for that matter) is engulfed in tulips.
6. Which is also when the tulips arrive in the Netherlands, for that matter.
7. And the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, which light up the nation’s capital.
8. The Palouse, in eastern Washington state, awakens with greens and golds this time of year.
9. And the Palouse’s cousin, in Moravia, Austria, also wakes up this time of year, it would seem.
10. As if we needed another reason to love Italy, the grass is literally greener when spring arrives.
11. The forests of Belgium are draped in mist and bloom purple, and are mild enough for a very enticing morning stroll.
12. Rapeseed blooms in many different regions of China, making oceans of yellow as they go, and adornments as well — like here in Jiangxi.
13. It’s when waterfalls all across the Northern Hemisphere come back to life — with force, thanks to melting snow — like Seljalandsfoss in Iceland.
14. Even the heights of the Himalayas embrace spring, which arrives with more moderate temperatures in the mountains, flowers in the lowlands, and fiery skies all around.
15. Meanwhile some of us welcome the equinox in the far north of Sweden, though still quite cold, under hypnotic green skies.