Ostara is almost here!
To us Canadians, Ostara is what Imbolc is to most of the rest of the northern hemisphere; the harbringer of the first real signs of spring. The ground begins to turn from ice to mud, it becomes as likely to rain as it is to snow, and the deep winter funk that has lain over our hearts since Imbolc finally begins to lift.
For me, Ostara marks some of the most special changes in the wheel of the year. To begin with, the birds start to return. The first of the Robins and Red-Winged Blackbirds appear, and the morning air becomes alive with their songs. Great formations of Trumpeter Swans and Canadian Geese go honking by. The beautiful, lonely Herons stop by for a visit, and we even see the occasional eagle on its way to its northern perches.
Ostara also brings a miraculous change to our national tree; the Maple sap begins to run! Even now I have six of my Maples tapped and am collecting sap to boil this weekend. Fresh maple syrup is truly a gift from the gods for which I am ever grateful!
On the wheel of the food production year, this is the time to begin indoor planting of some vegetables to give them a head start before transplanting them at Beltane. It is also possible to start planting some cold-hearty crops such as beans and spinach.
Naturally, Ostara is also the spring equinox, when daylight finally gets the better of the night and this is certainly an excellent reason to celebrate as well!