Sure you can look at a calendar, and knowing that the Vernal Equinox has passed, determine that it’s spring, but what if it’s bitterly cold, or snow still blankets the ground? If you’re in Michigan, here are 8 easy ways to know it’s spring without a calendar, nor regard for the weather.
Brewers Release Seasonal Treats
There is no bad season to enjoy Michigan beer, but spring features some exceptional highlights. Founders’ highly touted imperial stout, KBS, returns to the scene for as long as supplies last. Bartenders all over the state start slicing up oranges to serve with Bell’s massively popular wheat ale, Oberon. Short's comes to market with their spring favorite, ControversiALE, a light and citrusy offering, and Ardadia Ales delights the palate with their light and sweet, Whitsun Ale...to name but a few.
Talk Turns to Spring Training and Stanley Cup Chases
When out and about enjoying those spring brews, chatter in pubs converts from lamenting the Lions to hoping for the Tigers. Conversations about trips to Florida for pre-season games, Opening Day festivities, and the depth of the bullpen are only eclipsed by the eternal question, “Will the Wings make the playoffs again this year?”
Filling the Lanes Changes to Hitting the Links
Bowling is one of Michigan’s most popular pastimes, but once spring hits, Michiganders begin to abandon the alleys in favor of golf courses--though it was actually warm enough to golf in mid-December this year. It’s no wonder the sport is so popular with well over 800 courses around the state from which to choose.
Rare Vistas Become Accessible
While no reasonable person questions the beauty of Michigan in the summer, trees full of leaves do often block otherwise spectacular views. Similarly, in the winter, cold and icy conditions can prohibit access to those sights. Spring not only brings breaths of fresh air, it inspires hikes to take in scenes only visible when trees have not fully seen their leaves return.
Shanties Disappear in Favor of Shoreline Casts
While El Niño is credited with bringing a much milder winter this year, than the past two, ice still forced many a fishing aficionado to drill beneath a shanty, rather than casting a line. As spring takes shape, anglers hit nearly every pier and shoreline, and soon boats will be seen behind vehicles en route to their summer homes in Michigan lakes and rivers.
Hunting Season Morphs from Animals to Vegetation
The most commonly known hunting season in Michigan may be deer, but the most benign and flavorful is morel and ramp season. Foodies and hikers alike keep their eyes peeled toward the ground at this time of year in hopes of discovering these often hidden treasures. Morels are delicious mushrooms that foragers wait all year to uncover. Ramps are a species of wild onion. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible.
Ferry Boats Resume Regular Runs to Mackinac Island
It’s a hearty few who have spent time on Mackinac Island in the winter. Even most of the horses don’t stay. Depending on weather it can be a very challenging place to get on and off as ice fills the channel, but as spring returns, so does a more regular ferry boat schedule from the Arnold and Shepler lines. That’s an early sign of spring, and when the horses return, then you know summer is really right around the corner.
Flora Brings Color Back
It's hard to find a flower that isn't beautiful, but here in Michigan it's easy to love some just a little more than others simply for what they represent. The crocus somwhow breaks its way through frozen ground to provide the first glimpse of color after a barren winter. Tulip plants begin to rise and by late spring will give rise to one of our most covented celebrations in Holland, and once trilliums dot the woods with color, you know it really is springtime for Michigan.
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