Tag Archives: spring

Celestial Matters: Equinox, Eclipse, Freaky Friday, and T-shirt Design

moonToday is the first day of spring and things are looking up. Way up. To the heavens, in fact. Today is not only the Vernal Equinox (the First Day of Spring), it is also the occasion of the Super Moon and a Solar Eclipse. In astrological terms, today is the big Kahuna. In astronomical terms “This is the Earth’s first — and only — total solar eclipse of the year and the first one since November 2013, NASA reports. The next total solar eclipse in the USA will be in August 2017.”

A Super Moon, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon T-shirt design comes to mind, occurs “when a full or new moon coincides with perigee — the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Basically, the moon will appear a bit bigger and brighter than usual in the night sky.” A Solar Eclipse “occurs when the moon’s orbit of Earth positions it directly in between us and the sun, causing the moon to temporarily block out some of the sun’s light.” (Read the whole article and see a cool illustrative video here.) The Vernal Equinox happens once a year (if we are lucky).

The coincidence of these three celestial events is rare indeed! This celestial line up happens once in a blue moon. Well, the blue moon is a totally different story that is much more common. The Wall Street Journal calls today’s line up  extremely rare and goes on to explain the three phenomena this way:

“Solar eclipses are rare. The illusion of a supermoon can be witnessed several times a year, when the moon flies closest to the Earth and therefore appears larger than usual. The spring equinox occurs every year, and marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.…A solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the view from Earth of the sun’s disk, turning day into night. Though total solar eclipses occur somewhere on Earth every 18 months on average, they recur at any given place just once every 360 to 410 years. The moon is 400 times smaller than the sun but 400 times closer, so it appears the same size in the sky and virtually covers all of the sun during a solar eclipse.”

Some observers are calling it Freaky Friday, other Fierce Friday. We’re just calling it a gift. While T-shirt design is usually a little more down-to-earth, we’d love to see something commemorating this great day. Oh and it is the weekend. Happy Friday!

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The First Day of Spring is Nigh

crocusAccording to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, spring, or the Vernal Equinox arrives on March 20 at 6:45pm EDT. The Vernal Equinox is the day when “day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.” (http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-seasons).

We are not so sure about the parenthetical bit about the actual time of equal day and night. True, the days are getting longer. And we are enjoying the increased daylight – maybe more this Spring than historically – but here in the Northeast (our T-shirt company has two primary locations: one in Vermont and one in Massachusetts) we are in a bit of limbo. Some call is Stick Season. Some call it Mud Season. Both names are quite accurate.

And so Stuck in the Mud, as it were, we are very keen for signs of spring. For us, spring isn’t just another season; it’s a chance to begin again. Here are a few signs that came to mind:

  • Seeds for sale in local stores
  • Daylight Savings Time
  • The beginning of Maple Sugaring season
  • The return of the red-winged black birds
  • Ice out (this is when the ice on frozen lakes and rivers gives way)
  • Snow drops, crocuses, daffodils
  • The smell of damp earth
  • Temperatures above freezing
  • Nesting birds
  • The beginning of baseball season
  • Trout season
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Is it T-shirt weather yet?

Spring will come some day. We are almost sure of it!

Spring will come some day. We are almost sure of it!

All along the East Coast and New England, residents are breaking out the bad language. First they were stoic, then humorous, but now they are just downright angry. These normally pleasant people have had enough of winter. Especially in Boston where record-low temperatures conspire with record-high snowfall – even the New York Times calls this winter “Boston’s Winter From Hell.” (You can read the article here.)

Many of us heretofore considered Hell a little bit warmer. But now we know better. Which brings us to this important perennial question: “Is it T-shirt weather  yet?” Depending on how hardy a soul you are, T-shirt weather might be 65 degrees. Our Southern friends might not consider baring arms until the temperatures reach the upper 70’s.

With the Vernal Equinox, the official start of Spring, less than a month away, we thought we’d take a look at some regional forecasts for shirtsleeves season, T-shirt weather.

Let’s say that for the average T-shirt lover, 70 is warm enough to go out there in just a T. Given this 70 degree benchmark we took a look at average high temperatures in some of our nation’s larger cities.

T-shirt season comes to these cities in April:

T-shirt season comes to these cities in May:
Kansas City

T-shirt season does not come to these cities until JUNE!

We are so sorry, Boston! Being a Vermont company, we are in the same, chilly seasonal boat. Can we recommend something in nice long-sleeve t-shirt or maybe a nice warm sweatshirt?

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T-shirt Weather and Signs of Spring

Seeing someone wearing a T-shirt outdoors used to be one of our first signs of Spring here at Comfort Colors, but recently it was in the upper 30s here in Vermont and we did see a guy outside in a T. Brrr. Normally we think of T-shirt weather as something north of 65 degrees. Until the thermometer begins to cooperate, we’ll have to find sings of Spring in other places.

crocus - signs of springCommon signs of Spring in this part of the country include crocuses, the smell of skunk, the appearance of robins and bluebirds, and honey bees getting back to work. In Vermont, our home state, ice-out is a major sign of the new season, as is the start of maple season when sap starts flowing in the trees. In Massachusetts, our second home, seeing ducks in the park chasing one another with amorous intentions is a sure sign that warmth is on the way. We also start to see cafés move some of their seating outdoors – a very civilized sign of Spring.

In the garment industry, the Pantone Spring Color Report is a sure sign of Spring. Here is a little preview:
“This season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “While this need for stability is reflected in the composition of the palette, the inherent versatility of the individual colors allows for experimentation with new looks and color combinations.”

The line up for Women’s fashion looks a little like this:
Placid Blue
Violet Tulip
Celosia Orange
Radiant Orchid
Dazzling Blue

And these are the Men’s colors:
Placid Blue
Purple Haze
Celosia Orange
Magenta Purple
Dazzling Blue

You can take the survey to vote for your favorites here. The men’s and women’s colors are quite similar, but the men’s hues tend to have descriptors like daring, intense and bold. But all in all the colors are quite good and very familiar, they are not unlike our own colors. It does not seem fair, though, that men do not get Radiant Orchid, in their palette this year. Guys need a lift, too!

Early Spring is a very good time to contemplate such wonderful colors, especially when the New England temperament has lost some of its humor. We are definitely looking forward to T-shirt weather.

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Easter Eggs, Passover, the Color White and Red Wine

While Easter and Passover have no official colors associated with their celebration, you can’t go wrong with the pastel colors of Spring. Think key lime pie and raspberry macaroons. These colors make sense for the season and make for a festive holiday.

We took a look at place settings for the holidays and found tons of wonderful spring colors, but we also found a lot of whites and creams. White table cloths, white napkins, white blouses and shirts, cream-colored lace. Considering the significance of red wine at the Passover Seder and at Easter dinner combined red wine’s tendency to cause its consumers to spill a bit here and there, we started to wonder why white?

white-t-shirtAustin Powers will tell you that he likes to live dangerously by wearing a white t-shirt while he eats spaghetti, but we think the celebrants at Seder and Easter have something else in mind.

According to BournCreative.com, the color white is “an inherently positive color, is associated with purity, virginity, innocence, light, goodness, heaven, safety, brilliance, illumination, understanding, cleanliness, faith, beginnings, sterility, spirituality, possibility, humility, sincerity, protection, softness, and perfection.”

This make sense for the holidays and it strikes a chord here at Comfort Colors. Most of our shirts start out white or cream before they are dyed to perfection. White makes a great base for the colors of spring.

Happy holidays. Please pass the wine…

image credit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meanwhile-in-Canada/

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