Spring came early this year. The leafy canopy that shades Evansville’s city streets from the summer heat already is mid-June dense – in early May.
Astronomically speaking, the vernal equinox arrived earlier this year than it has in more than a century.
Phenologists don’t rely on a calendar to tell them spring has arrived, though they, too, agree spring came early. These researchers study the timing of animal and plant life cycles; the season begins when wildflowers sprout, insects emerge, and leaves burst on trees. By these measurements, in Southwestern Indiana and across the U.S., spring arrived up to a month earlier in 2012.
I have been happy about the early spring. I have more flowers to pick and more days to enjoy them. At times, it seemed I could see my plants growing.
Small talk has focused on the mild weather and what’s blooming in whose yards. (A small black mission fig tree occupied a tin bucket on my terrace all winter — never properly prepared for the cold weather — and began growing early this spring. Last summer’s petunias “volunteered” also this spring, surprising me with a purple wave along a stone path.) The very early arrival of lightning bugs across Southwestern Indiana was broadcast on social media.
Still, as I’ve enjoyed the blooms and balmy weather, the early arrival has its detractors. Our place in the “pollen belt” now certainly is secure; allergy sufferers have been fairly miserable. And, the trending early spring — termed “spring creep” by climate scientists — has a significant role in the discussion on climate change.
It’s been a few years since Evansville Living has presented spring foliage and flower pictures. Early blooms gave us a window of opportunity this year to share with you the beautiful color of the season — free of allergies and anxiety — in Evansville, New Harmony, Ind., and Owensboro, Ky. (“Early to Rise,” page 58).
Nowhere is the natural beauty of our area showcased and enjoyed more than among the 472 acres of Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind. This stern test of golf, the dream of founder Terry Friedman (who died in 2004), appeared on the cover of the third issue of this magazine.
Victoria National occupies an arresting site that over the last century was stripped of coal and beauty through surface mining. Over time, nature reclaimed the land, and today, the scars left from its legacy are among Victoria’s most stunning features.
Friedman’s legacy, too, continues to shape Victoria. From the outset of the club’s 1998 opening, he boldly stated his goal was to host a major PGA event. With a new ownership team, $5 million in clubhouse and course improvements, and a prestigious, locally-headquartered sponsor, Victoria National hosts the Nationwide Tour, an official PGA event, June 25-July 1. The United Leasing Championship at Victoria National will be played in Newburgh, Ind., in 2013 and 2014, as well.
Learn how Victoria National competed for and was awarded this opportunity, and meet four of the golfers playing in the United Leasing Championship at Victoria National, in our story “Double Vision” (page 34).
I hope you enjoy this issue! As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor