"In like a lion, out like a lamb" is an old weather adage, used primarily with reference to March, a month that sees everything from unseasonably high temperatures to snowstorms, as winter gives way to spring and thousands of college students head south to get drunk and expose themselves.
Not much of a transition here from winter to spring, considering we had next to no snow and the thermometer rarely dipped below zero. (Hands up anyone who was stupid enough to buy snow tires, heavy clothing, shovels, salt, and anything else designed to cope with Old Man Winter).
For those of you who are looking forward to the advent of spring and the opportunity to get out of doors, Yours Truly presents its annual Signs of the Season:
1) Assistant editor Roxanne Hooper was spotted recently cutting her lawn. I'm not sure, but I think there may be a municipal bylaw involved here regarding the operation of a mower before March. Not to mention the fact that Roxy has put the pressure on the rest of us to get out there and start doing yard work. When asked about her landscaping faux pas, Ms. Hooper claimed she was merely training for the coming season by pushing the mower up and down her lawn.
2) A lot of your marijuana grow-ops will be moved outside to catch the natural light and warmth, something you may notice - or smell - as you're out walking the dog; you may also notice some clandestine harvesters looking for free pot, or members of Randy Kamp's office gathering evidence for their campaign to eliminate medical marijuana operations. You can also expect Craig Speirs to be sniffing around.
3) The homeless population will have made several changes to their environment for spring: such as swapping the heavy blankets and quilts for lighter fabrics and sheets, and switching to a different colour and weight of tarp for the warmer season. Some of them may also take to wearing shorts and sandals as part of their spring wardrobe.
4) While you're out on your walk, you will see and/or smell dog feces, much of it there since the winter, buried under the snow. Cats, who are neater in their disposal of waste, actually outnumber dogs in this area, which has led the SPCA to create an inexpensive neutering and spaying program for local pet owners, and for strays that are dropped off at the facility.
5) What you won't see this spring are the same numbers of movie sets that we have become accustomed to in the past. The industry, which pumped $2.4 million into the local economy last year, is leaving town because of the provincial government's failure to offer the tax credits other jurisdictions have, like Ontario.
Plus all the cats and dogs and marijuana were a distraction.
6) While not really a sign of spring, you may not be seeing the Happy Face cookie if the Haney Bakery cannot come to terms with mall management's efforts to give them the old heave-ho from their current location next to Thrifty's. Besides the fact of the bakery's long-term tenancy, these sweet cookies are damned addictive, especially among younger people, who I'm surprised have not set up some kind of protest outside the mall.
7) Whonnock Lake has thawed out. Always a sure sign that spring has arrived.
8) Foreign workers, disgusted with the rain and the failure of their employers to pay them on time, are leaving the area and may not return for the berry-picking season. This has led construction firms and farmers to announce that they may have to hire - get ready - Canadians.
9) Again not a regular sign of spring, but the provincial Liberals are spending big bucks tooting their own horn and saying nasty things about NDP leader Adrian Dix. Nothing to do with the election coming up in May.
10) Green Beer.