The names of seasons are used without
1. When they have the most general meaning /like other abstract nouns/.For
example: Although it was summer, the room was hot. Now it is winter.
If the nouns under discussion are subjects of sentences and the predicate
is expressed by the verb come, approach, set in,
the definite article is possible too. For example: But as the winter
approached, John began to feel desperate.
2. After the prepositions by, since.
For example: You've known him long?- Since spring.
3. Commonly after the pronoun all. For
example: Where have you been all summer?
The definite article is used before the names of seasons
1. In its specifying function, that is, when the season is definite. For
example: As the winter passed, she saw more and more of him.
2. After the prepositions during, for, through.
For example: When I was a boy my parents took a place for the summer on
the coast near Naples
After the prepositions after, before, in, till,
until no article is used even if no definite season is meant.
For example: After spring came summer -a good summer that year. I've
never been here in the winter before in all these years. I haven't seen
our garden in the summer for some years.
The indefinite article is used with the nouns under discussion in its
classifying function. In such cases they are most often found with
descriptive attributes. For example: After spring came summer -a
good summer that year. A dismal autumn dragged into winter.
If descriptive attributes are expressed by the adjectives early
and late and the referents are not
specified no article is used. For example: It was early spring with
lambs being born.
If the referent is specified the definite article is used. For example: In
the early summer 1929 I had my first stroke of luck.