Welcome to Spring

Spring
Omaha’s Zorinsky Lake.

It’s here! It’s here! Not the new phone book (Steve Martin fans, smile). Spring. Spring time is upon us. Time to put away the heavy coats, mittens, scarves and galoshes. Time to break out the windbreaker, umbrellas and sneakers. Ah, yes, spring time. Does anything beat spring, with trees sprouting new leaves and new flowers blooming?

So, that must mean it’s time to play outdoors. Yes, it does. Walks in the park or along trails. Spring is one of my favorite seasons. We rid ourselves of the cold, snow and ice from winter. Everything begins anew. We can finally get outside without the concern about blizzards or cold spells. We can walk around zoos, lakes, living history museums, botanical gardens, parks, as well as city centers.

Spring
Watching an early spring rowing competition between Creighton and Nebraska at Carter Lake, Iowa.

I look forward to walks along the shoreline and paths of some of our favorite lakes in the area. Checking out the views of people participating in water activities, and new animal families.

Spring
A goose family enjoying Walnut Creek Lake in Papillion, Nebraska.

Watching a spring sunset at a lake can be magical, in my opinion. The golden sunset colors shining brightly on the water. The silhouettes that extend from the water. It’s one of my favorite views.

Spring
Sunset at an Omaha lake.

Now, spring does mean getting outside and doing some of our favorite things. As we walk at nearby lakes, one of my favorite sights involve people fishing. I used to fish when I was younger, but grew away from it. Sometimes, I think it would be nice to pick up a rod and reel and just relax on the shore and see if I get any bites on the bait. I have friends who are avid fishers, and they live for the activity.

Spring
Men fishing at Clear Lake, Iowa.

Staying alongside lakes, animals come out of hibernation and start enjoying the sunshine themselves. Turtles and frogs are among the creatures that will find a spot on a log and spend hours sunning themselves, absorbing the heat.

Spring
A turtle enjoying a warm day.

As the weather turns warmer and the sun shines later into the day, paddle boats will take to the rivers and larger lakes, offering people an opportunity to enjoy the water in a different manner.

Spring
A river boat cruising the Missouri River in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The nicer weather means beautiful flowers will abound. Neither Lisa nor I have a green thumb, but we love the beauty and fragrances of flowers. We enjoy visiting areas with lots of floral displays, such as botanical gardens or city parks.

Spring
Beautiful tulips in Pella, Iowa.

Spring marks the start of festival season. Every area seems to have dozens of spring celebrations, such as cultural, ethnic and community festivals. We’ll check out a few this year, I imagine.

Spring
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a parade in Omaha.

Walking about in urban areas brings a different set of viewing opportunities. Some cities will offer a view of massive skyscrapers among their skyline. Others will offer a look at older, more historic facilities. Either way, a stroll in the city can be an enjoyable adventure.

Spring
A view of downtown Chicago from Millennium Park

If the city isn’t for you, maybe a drive through rural areas would be fun. We all have highways and other roads we can hop on enjoy a couple of hours checking rural towns. Midwestern states have several scenic highways that people can drive, giving them a view they don’t normally see during their daily lives. In Nebraska, we’ve driven along the Sandhills, Lewis and Clark and Lincoln highways. We’ve learned quite a bit from visiting smaller communities along those drives.

Spring
An old gas station along the Lincoln Highway (US Highway 30) in Iowa.

Zoos and wildlife parks are great places to visit during the spring. Several animals are also breaking out of their winter hibernations. You never know what you’ll see when you visit. We had the luck of seeing a couple of young bison head-butting each other – rutting – as a springtime ritual, challenging each other for the possible affections of the females in the herd.

Spring
Young bison challenging each other at the lee Simmons wildlife park near Ashland, Nebraska.

Animals need to start taking care of themselves for the next year’s survival, so it’s common to see them eating along the way. The Omaha zoo’s wildlife park gives visitors ample opportunities to see animals in their natural environment, loving their lives as they would in the wild.

Spring
One of our favorite views at the wildlife park – a young deer sharing its meal with a squirrel behind it.

However, you enjoy the outdoors, take advantage of the weather and temperatures and have a great time. Who knows, may we’ll run into each other. Have fun and be safe.