The vernal equinox occurs this morning, bringing the first day of spring. The bare tree branches give way to green leaves as the warming temperature and increased daylight spur new growth, giving Earth its signature green color. Leslie McKiever’s beautiful photo of these spring redbuds is a sure sign that spring has arrived. Here’s an interesting National Geographic story from 2012 about the vernal equinox: Vernal Equinox 2012: First-Day-of-Spring Myth Busted.