Yes, it’s here. Spring checked in at 12:57 p.m. today, the bare fact alone warming the hearts of Boston-area residents tired of a frigid winter.
Who cared if the temperature was about 50 and a chily wind was blowing? The calendar’s good news could not be denied.
At Joe Moakley Park in South Boston, few people had received the memo that spring had sprung. The basketball courts, the football field, the track were empty, though a handful of runners clad in long tights and fitness jackets ran by on the sidewalk.
But Beatrice Lacombe, 62, knew full well that the time window was about to close on this long and miserable winter as she watched her grandson, Brady, toddle on the park’s playground.
“Twelve minutes left,” she said. “We’ve been counting.”
But when the clock struck springtime, it didn’t feel much warmer.
“The wind doesn’t help much,” she said, bracing against the cold with a thick red jacket. “I just can’t wait to ditch the scarf, ditch the hat.”
The sun broke through the clouds and warmed Copley Square the exact moment of the spring equinox. Michelle Nguyen, 37, stood wrapped in a purple and green Tibetan scarf that had kept her warm all winter.
“It’s been keeping me warm all winter,” she said. “I’m ready to store it in the closet.”
She came out today, however, because she was determined to eat lunch outside. She ordered chicken and rice from a pushcart, squinting her eyes in the sunlight.
“It’s finally sunny and a little warm,” she said.
Just as quickly as the sun had appeared, it ducked back behind a cloud and the wind made it feel like winter again. A storm of some kind — including, possibly, snow — was in the forecast for next week.
“It’s been the worst winter I’ve ever experienced on the East Coast,” she said.
At Revere Beach, the winter-weary savored the moments, strolling along the beach, collecting clam shells, and letting the sun warm their faces.
Pausing during her walk, Luiza Zomer, 25, said it had been a long, unforgiving winter, and that today felt like a new beginning.
The snow was all but gone, and she even left her coat inside.
“Feels good,” she said with a grateful smile.
Belinda Borgatti, 61, had been waiting for a day like this for weeks and was loving every minute. “Everyone’s happy today,” she said. “It’s so nice to finally be out of the house.”
It was moving day in Wayland — for the pansies at Russell’s Garden Center.
The flowers were being taken from the heated glass greenhouses where they were planted to an unheated plastic-sided greenhouse, where they can get fresh air.
“We needed 50 degrees,” said Elizabeth Russell, president of the business. “I’d love to say it’s because of the first day of spring, but if it was 20 we wouldn’t be doing it.”
Throughout the shop and garden center on Boston Post Road, people selected seeds, pots, and tools to start their plantings.
Ed and Nancy Adams of Marlborough were stocking up on seed for the birds that live around their home.
“I still got 15 inches of snow in my yard so right now I can’t do a lot,” Ed Adams said.“The birds come back in force. We got robins already in the yard. It’s just a fun time to be in the yard and do everything you need to do. “