The caption for a photograph about joggers on Thursday's Metro page erroneously said the run was sponsored by the Interior Department. The sponsor was the Foreign Affairs Recreation Association of the State Department.

The sun rolled into Washington yesterday morning a few hours after the earth had turned to greet the heat at an angle that man calls spring.

"Just a fantastic day," said Luther Thomas, a Metro employe who took yesterday off to fish for bass in the Tidal Basin. "When it gets like this, I can't sleep. I can't work. Might as well fish."

The high temperature yesterday was 66. From now until June 21, the days will become longer, the nights shorter, but not necessarily less fun.

The warming process, which weathermen say may -- or may not -- last through the weekend, did thaw out Jim Reed, a New Carrollton man hospitalized for most of the winter after his private airplane crashed during a takeoff.

Stretched out on a blanket yesterday with a banjo and a girlfriend named Betty Beal, Reed picked out a tribute to spring.He called it "Sally Goodin." It went like this:

"I had a piece of pie; I had a piece of puddin,' but I'd give it all away just to kiss Sally Goodin..."

Betty Beal blushed.

"It's the rebirth of life," Reed said. "It's good. It's my favorite time of the year."

Jerry La Rue, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said yesterday, "This is just ideal weather as far as I'm concerned. Some find it chilly, but I remember back in 1958 on the first day of spring we had two inches of snow."

La Rue said the Washington area could expect cooler temperatures this weekend, but the National Park Service says its annual kite carnival on the Washington Monument grounds this Saturday will be a breeze.

"We're giving away 2,500 kites," says Park spokesman George Berklacy. "Just bring your tails." Berklacy also announced that, after many weeks of worry, government horticulturists have set April 4 as the day when 3,500 cherry trees are expected to blossom.

"The buds are beginning to swell," Berklacy said. "They're showing signs of pink. It's not rare that cherry blossoms bloom during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (which begins April 1), but it's not that frequent, either."

Also, about 490,000 hand-planted tulips are expected to blossom along the Potomac and Tidal Basin by mid-April, Berklacy said.

Children who love sunshine were everywhere yesterday. Joggers ran around Hains Point. Lovers parked their cars around East Potomac Park during the lunch hour.

'It's a nice day," said Steve Gullins, 13. "I got tired of snowballs. I've been ready for the skateboard. Wintertime don't even compare."

At St. Francis Xavier School, where children jumped rope on a closed street during lunch time, Eric Gorham, 13, was elated.

"Too much snow came down, but that makes you like the sunshine that much more. Now I can play basketball," he said.

James Pratt, who breaks up sidewalks with an air compressor, took some time off yesterday to go fishing.

"I could do this all the time," he said. "But to me, spring means that summer is just around the corner. Pretty soon, it's gonna be sweat time for me."

Nevertheless, most people welcomed the end of one of the most unwelcomed winters in recent memory. A mammoth snowstorm on George Washington's Birthday had shut down Washington, and millions of dollars had been lost as snowstorms blanketed other parts of the country, too.

"It's looking good," said La Rue, the meterologist. "But as I look through our record books I see we had 93 degrees on March 23, 1907. Then on April 1, 1924, we had 5 1/2 inches of snow."