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Flowery Google Doodle heralds first day of spring

The weather may still be chilly in many parts of the US, but spring is officially here, according to the calendar and a new Google Doodle.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

I hate winter. I despise it. I loathe it. I detest it. I abhor it. In case you haven't gotten the message, it's not exactly my favorite time of year. That's why I welcomed the latest Google Doodle celebrating the vernal equinox, otherwise known this time of year as the first day of spring.

Occurring twice a year, once three weeks into March and again at the same point in September, the equinox marks the time when the sun aims its rays directly at the equator. That means people in both the northern and southern hemispheres enjoy an equal amount of sunlight.

With this month's equinox, those of us in the northern hemisphere score the better part of the deal. We start to gain more daylight, while the folks further south will see the days get shorter.

Springing to life on Thursday, Google's Doodle throws in a touch of animation revealing trees growing and flowers blooming thanks to help from a water can-wielding individual. Though winter still hasn't quite released its icy fingered-grip on many of us, the doodle is a welcome sign that a permanent thaw should be just around the corner.