Utah’s Faux Spring

If you live in Utah and have seen tulips bursting from the damp soil, robins hopping around for worms, or teenagers sluffing in the park, you might think it’s spring. But natives of this state are well aware of Mother Nature’s wry sense of humor. It’s never really spring in Utah.

Here are some tricks Mother Nature keeps up her sleeve:

  • You look out the window and there’s a beautiful blue sky. The temperature is 55 degrees. However, you walk outside to get the newspaper and the wind is so cold your eyebrows freeze and fall off your face. “Joke’s on you!” Laughs Mother Nature. Skank.

wind(But the sun is shining! No fair!)

  • You’ll see bright green leaves gently pushing their way into the sun, soon to become daffodils, hyacinths or tulips. “Not so fast!” says Mother Nature, who then dumps a foot of snow on the poor flowers, and then runs off to bask in the Bahamas.
  • You walk outside with jeans and a jacket. It’s warm. It’s not windy. The sun is shining. You go back inside to put on shorts and flip-flops. You walk back outside into a blizzard.
  • The calendar might read March, April, May or June but any Utahn knows spring doesn’t start until June 30 and then ends on July 1 when summer hits and temperatures soar into the 90s.
  • Little girls in cute, spring Easter dresses huddle in down parkas whilst looking for Easter eggs. (Stupid Mother Nature. Stupid Easter Bunny.)

Just to be safe, keep two different sets of clothes in the car at all times, plus an umbrella, picnic basket, gloves, Frisbees, scarves and sunscreen. Just coverin’ the bases.

Top 5 Ways to Tell It’s Spring in Utah

Utah is “blessed” to experience all four seasons (deer hunt, basketball, soccer and tourist). But when spring finally arrives (usually around July 22), the weather actually becomes bearable. Translation: I can wear shorts and tank tops without a parka.

(You can tell it’s May. Shorts and flip-flops, baby!)

Here are the top 5 ways to tell it’s spring in the Beehive State:

1. Graffiti: Warm weather brings out the L’il Monet in gangsta wanna-bes. Territory-marking Picassos tag fences, electrical boxes or garage doors. Not only should these ruinous Renoirs be spanked for bad behavior, the grammar police should beat them with dictionaries. The fact these vandalizing Van Gogh’s don’t use vowels bothers me to no end. Everyone uses vowels. Even Hitler used vowels.

2. Pre-Summer-vacation blues: When the neighbor women start stockpiling anti-depressants and Merlot, I know that June is approaching and school will be out soon. Mothers who put June Cleaver to shame, start looking frayed around the edges, trembling for no reason and jumping at loud noises. Bouts of depression are experienced in most kitchens all through May.

(Rouse me when the kids go back to school.)

3. Road Construction: Okay, this doesn’t really count because the Utah Department of Transportation does road construction YEAR ROUND. But spring usually heralds in a flurry of new road projects, road closures, intersection rebuilds and flaring tempers. Most drivers spend their commute idling in their cars, cleaning their weapons.

4. Spring Yardwork: For approximately 22 minutes during May, I’m excited about doing yardwork. It’s usually a beautiful, sunny day as I plant petunias, snapdragons, marigolds and other hardy plants that I will completely ignore for the next four months.

(My garden in May. . .

. . . and in August.)

5. Junior Sports: All across the state, grade-school kids are donning shin-guards, baseball jerseys, soccer shorts and athletic cups. Except for the girls. (They don’t wear shin-guards.) Parents and grandparents sit in the cold and wind (more signs of spring), watching their little ones tackle runners going to third base, kicking goals for the other team and being yelled at by angry fathers living vicariously through their five-year-olds.

Once each of these items are checked off, summer can officially arrive!!!