Don’t panic, the signs of spring are now among us

Ponoka News' Hammertime looks at the fresh, warm days of springtime.

Even though we have had to dig out the shovels and snow blowers several times over the past few weeks as March really came in ‘Like a Lion,’ we must now continue to be up-beat and optimistic that spring is most definitely just around the next mushy corner?

As robust and hardy Albertans we should just forget about what the sleepy old groundhog might have seen, and although we may have to bundle up and do the ‘shuffle and slide’ for a few more days we can really look forward to the sure signs of our get up and go green season soon showing up all over our favourite communities.

There is no doubt that the skiing and snowboard fanatics are revelling in all the deep powder up on the slopes, and with a total base of over 500 centimetres at most Rocky Mountain resorts are looking forward to being busy until May, after which those of us here down on the prairies will be getting a fabulous spring run-off. Although some may disagree and hope that it goes away next year, the first welcome introduction of spring came this past weekend when we pushed our clocks ahead one hour, and can now look forward to maybe sleeping in a little later as well as lots of longer and lively evenings all the way until the leaves begin to fall. So here are some of the countless signs of spring that we can look forward to and prepare for at our own leisure right after listening to the morning weather forecast.

During the wild and wonderful ways in which Mother Nature performs, by this time next week the children could be outside gleefully splashing around in the slush and puddles, the fishing huts will be stored away in the shed, and the avid sports fanatics will be polishing up their golf clubs, digging out the ball gloves, and finding stuff for the first garage sale.

As winter-weary residents we can now take heart that those roving white rabbits now have a sprinkling of brown amongst their fluffy coats, while out at the Ellis Bird Farm north east of Red Deer the great horned owl has already laid her eggs, and the progress of this fuzzy new family can be followed live on the eye-cam now showing at A few of the now central Alberta based finches have been seen racing around looking for food-treats and lodgings, and it won’t be too long before the magnificent geese and all the rest of the winged-species start arriving back in town from their hot winter retreats down south.

We used to really look forward to preparing our bird houses and filling our treat baskets when we had a big back yard, but now we will always patiently watch and wait for their colourful and noisy arrival while out walking in the neighbourhood and parks. Of course there will also be that sudden and unscheduled emergence of all sorts of ‘bugs,’ both inside our homes and around our yards, but most of them do have a purpose in nature, and should be respected and enjoyed, and often better from a distance.

One only has to stroll through most stores to see the countless fun and make-work signs of spring on many shelves and displays including seeds, plants, garden tools, all sorts of sports equipment and outside toys for kids and robust adults, and of course those colourful and flashy lines of spring fashions for all ages.

Spring is also that very refreshing, often wet, and most delicate time of the seasons when we need to carefully respect and protect our environment, team up and help to clean up what’s left behind by winter, mingle with the neighbours, and drive very carefully so as not to splash or endanger the masses of fun and fresh air seekers who will be out and about planning and enjoying the next exciting and much balmier chapter of our great nation’s 150th birthday celebration. Start now by having a good time with family and friends planning your spring and summer activities, and then go ahead and have a great and hopefully much warmer week, all of you.


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