On top of the lambs, the calves, the extra sunlight, the daffodils and new grass growth there are two other pieces of evidence we have that an early spring is already here.
1) – Pollen
2) – An increase in Ultra Violet rays (which leads to sunburn and an increased risk in skin cancer)
Firstly, pollen. You may have already noticed spring is in the air if you’ve started sneezing more, having blocked noses, or itchy eyes. Or – perhaps that black BBQ cover has a layer of lime/yellow spotted over it? Or an outdoor table has pollen on the surface? This is the start of the pollen season – it only increases as we go through September and October, then usually eases back a bit into November and December. Windy, dry, sunny days tend to produce the highest pollen counts – especially if that wind is passing over land before it reaches you.
Secondly, UV rays. We don’t much talk about getting sun-burnt in winter but the sad thing is New Zealanders do get sun-burnt in winter and spring. Unfortunately trying to get sunburn data out of the NZ Govt isn’t easy. Thankfully the US Government provides free all year round coverage and current data shows UV Rays are already into the Moderate levels under the right conditions (sunny or fairly sunny weather at this time of year). This means you should avoid direct prolonged sunlight in the middle of the day and try to wear a hat, find shade or wear suntan lotion if you’re outdoors for the day. There’s a reason NZ has the unwanted gold medal for skin cancer – being aware of the damaging UV rays even in late winter and early spring is important in our view. Just sensible small precautions could make a big difference to you. The UV index increases significantly as we head pass the equinox, one month from now, and head towards the Summer Solstice shortly before Christmas Day.
– Image / “An image of Apple blossoms and Abutilon flowers in my garden where Thrush & Blackbirds sing from the top” – Zelda Wynn, Spring/October 2015.
â€” Andrew Frame (@NapierinFrame) August 22, 2016