Spring — a magical time of the year

This is a magical time of year for me — and in more ways than one.

Every spring, I feel restored and revived when the days become longer and the temperatures begin to rise. I love getting outdoors to see the signs of spring — whether I take a walk around the neighborhood or a drive across the county, I really enjoy spotting those first buds and blossoms, as well as the orange breast of a robin or the flash or blue or red in a tree’s branches as a blue jay or cardinal hops about.

Even the muddy muck that comes with heavy spring rain doesn’t get me down. I simply step around it or dry my shoes once I get inside if it’s unavoidable.

Meandering around the area last week, I noticed lots of bright yellow daffodils and forsythia bushes in bloom. I particularly enjoy noticing patches of daffodils that seem out of place. That’s because they almost certainly are not.

Did you know that daffodils are not native plants to our region? They don’t just spring up on their own. So when you see them lining an embankment, growing in patches alongside a road or bursting through the soil surface in a wooded area or anyplace else they might occur, you can bet that somebody — at some point in time — planted them there.

Usually that is because they were intended to decorate a person’s lawn or farm. So, chances are that anywhere you find daffodils, you can discover that there once was a home there.

Also during my travels, I saw a number of bright green ferns in shady spots, along with a wide variety of small wildflowers sporting white and even blue blossoms.

I saw horses grazing and enjoying the chance to stretch their legs in their fields. A couple of weeks ago, those same horses were more inclined to huddle near their shelters when their owners had them outdoors, and for a few months now they have been dressed in warm blankets. There was no need for that on Thursday!

And in fields where there were cattle instead of horses, I spotted a few new calves following their mothers closely and trying to nurse.

High above my head, birds of all sorts have been flying about and calling to one another. In addition to the cardinal, robin and blue jay, I have seen large crows, buzzards and a hawk in the past few days.

For me, all of that is magical. It means that the natural world is reawakening, ready to reproduce and make the most of every day.

∫ ∫ ∫

I also have been fortunate enough to be exposed to a different kind of magic lately.

My husband, Mike, is a magician and has been performing throughout the region since he was just 9 years old. Earlier this month, he entertained a sold-out crowd at the banquet hall at Grand Vue Park in Moundsville. The venue was lovely — clean and bright with lots of comfortable seating. And it was absolutely filled with people, many of them young children, for what the park promoted as a family-style show.

“Magician Michael Strough” turned out to be a big hit with the crowd, and he really enjoyed entertaining them.

It happens all over again this weekend, when Mike visits the Ohio Valley Mall to help welcome the Easter Bunny for his annual visit.

Shows are slated for 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 25 at Boscov’s Court. The bunny will join him on stage before heading to his nearby seat to have photos taken with children. And there will be plenty more for families to enjoy.

“We’re just having some fun things, face painting and balloon art,” mall marketing Director Candi Noble-Greathouse said.

And the holiday fun won’t end on Saturday.

“The Easter Bunny will be here the rest of season, three more weeks,” Noble Greathouse said. “We will have cookies and story time and crafts scheduled with Chik fil A and its mascot cow from 5:30-6:30 p.m. March 31 inside the mall. We will have pet photos with the bunny from 5-7 p.m. on (March) 27th and on April 3rd from 6-8 p.m.”

Mike will only be there to perform those two shows, but the bunny will be around much longer.

The Easter Bunny’s hours this season will be:

March 25-April 2 — noon to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday,

April 3-8 — noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday

11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays

Noon to 6 p.m. Sundays

Now I realize that most of our readers are a little too old to sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap for a photo. But many also have children and grandchildren who would enjoy the experience. So, even if you’re too big to receive your own Easter basket, consider heading to the mall to enjoy a magical event and a fun-filled day.

Chances are that you will spot some flowers in bloom or some other signs if spring along the way.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today