Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring-this season didn't get the spring forward memo

   Spring in Michigan. As far as the weather goes, it's one of the most iffy times of the year. Anything can happen. High winds, no wind, snow, rain or very dry. It depends on what Mother Nature is sending us that year.
   This year is no exception. Just when you think about grabbing the rake to get those leaves left over from last fall raked and put into the compost pile, here comes another front as the weather gurus call it.
   Working for a couple of days in shirtsleeves and even sitting outside for a bit, caught some of us dreaming about plowing the garden up and doing some early season planting. Better hold those thoughts for now.
   Last nights cold temperatures, high wind, snow, sleet and freezing rain reminded us in no uncertain terms who is in charge around here. It definitely isn't us even though our thoughts have turned toward warm weather.
   Like tulips, daffodils and crocus we look for in early spring, night crawlers have joined them by staying covered up for just a little longer.
   Yes, you'll find some of these little plants and animals alongside building foundations, but for the most part, the ground is too cold and wet for much to get started.
   In the meantime, gather your children and read about "Hannah and the Talking Tree," by Elke Weiss. The winner of several awards, it's a story about saving the environment, namely trees, being different and learning to listen.
   The 36-page book is alive showing children playing outdoors and interacting with nature. It's a really great teaching tool for youngsters, keeping their attention at the turn of every page.
   Spring is a wonderful time of the year to teach young people about the world outside. "Hannah and the Talking Tree," are one way to do it.

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