Giddy from the good weather yet? With spring knocking impatiently at your door, why not think of some new adventures to share with this lovely mistress of green growth.
Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 20:52
FLOWER FIELD ROMP: Just as good as a romp in the hay, but less itchy. Hello spring tulips, goodbye pokey winter hay. (Photo: Mendhak/Flickr)
Spring is tired of going on the same old dates with everyone. People see her approaching and they dust off their flip flops, maybe pump up their bike tires, and search in vain for the frisbee they could have sworn was in the garage. Perhaps with such a long winter as Colorado is prone to have, ideas on how best to take advantage of the oncoming warmth and greenery are slow to arrive. But spring wants to be shown a good time. As a season of rebirth (literally as well as metaphorically), spring offers to each individual unlimited opportunity for trying new things and being uncharacteristically adventuresome; the least we can do for her in return is appreciate the options.
As it is becoming more and more difficult to convince myself that class is still important even when the temperature is above sixty and green is peeking at me from every corner, I find it hard to choose what I'd like to spend most of my time doing with spring. Here's a list of what spring and I will likely have the most fun doing in the next couple months (and which you should try out, as well!).
Go mountain biking
Rub the hibernation-sleep out of your eyes, poke your winter-weary head out your door and direct your gaze to the west. Those massive rocks you see out there have an abundance of trails waiting to be ridden. There are few things more exhilirating than clipping in to a trusty bike, hammering through the hills and just plain getting dirty. As the snows melt and more trails become ridable, spring is the perfect time to take advantage of the not-yet-too-hot weather and the presence of lots of mud. Even if you can't make it to the mountains, look around town for dirt trails that welcome bikers. Your local bike store will likely have maps plotting all the great places to get off the road and into some bumpy terrain; check the "Parks and Open Spaces" information on your county's website as well.
Volunteer at a local organic garden
Perhaps I have a slight obsession with mud, but I feel the time to get my hands dirty in a garden fast approaching. Since I don't have the space for my own garden, I like to devote a few hours a week lending my labor to local organizations trying to promote organic growing methods and local transportation and consumption. Here in Boulder there is a student run farm called Beyond Organic Farm (see what they're all about at http://beyondorganicfarm.com) and they welcome any and all helping hands. There is also a larger organization called Growing Gardens that is devoted to teaching youth about sustainable growing practices and which offers weekly times for the public to come by to help and learn. If your county doesn't have such great organizations, consider getting together with your neighbors and creating a neighborhood garden based on organic and sustainable methods.
Grow your own plants
If you can't take the time to lend a hand at a local farm, and the neighbors simply aren't cooperating with you, try a mini indoor garden. You can grow such simple things as herbs to use in cooking or flowers to brighten up the house. Just get in touch with the growing season in any small way that you can; I know that having plants in my room puts a smile on my face every time I wake up.
Volunteer for trail reconstruction
Winter can wreak havoc on walking, hiking, biking and riding trails. If you have ever enjoyed the use of such trails, whether in your county or in the mountains, consider helping to perpetuate the fun by volunteering to clean and rebuild what weather and erosion might damage through the cold season. You'll be outside, you'll be giving back to the community, you'll be meeting new people with similar interests ... that sounds like a day well spent. Check out the organization called Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado to find out more about how you can get involved in something like this; they also need people to help plant trees, dig up invasive weeds and restore historic buildings.
There you have it. Spring is waiting for that perfect date, and I can't wait to oblige!
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