Spring, as the song goes, is bustin' out all over. Besides the longer days and balmier temps, here's a quick rundown of my favorite ways to mark the delicious turning of the season:
1. Booming bicycle traffic. On my bike-friendly street, the volume of bike commuters—kitted out in rain gear and fenders—has easily tripled in the last few weeks. Just in time for Bike to Work month in May.
2. Blossom storms. The cherry, apple and pear trees are loaded with blooms. Along comes a random gusty wind, sending waves of tiny petals cascading to the ground. It's like being in a snow globe, sans the tiny snowman.
3. Sloppy spring skiing. Who doesn't love slogging through wet, heavy snow in the backcountry? I was caught unprepared a couple weeks ago on too-skinny skis, and found myself repeatedly sinking into the wet-cement-like higher-elevation snow. The snow doughnuts were a welcome distraction.
4. Fiddlehead ferns at the market. Sure, there's asparagus, but the curly fiddlehead is the forage-friendly food signal that spring has really hit the Pacific Northwest.
5. Nesting pterodactyls (er, great blue herons). There's a heron rookery not far from here, and I've taken up monitoring the hulking birds as they hunch over their giant nests, waiting for the chicks to hatch. Maternity ward meets Jurassic Park!
6. 80% more rainbows. The crazy spring mishmash of snow blended with rain and blown out by sunshine results in some spectacular double rainbow treats. I get excited about them, of course, but not to the degree of double rainbow man.
7. Summer plans. Now that spring has me believing that summer really will come after all, my next thought is: Oops, did I book a summer campsite? Time to troll the state parks website and see which weekend spots are still snaggable.
How do you mark the onset of spring in your part of the world? What's missing from this informal field guide to signs of spring?