Spring Scenery

  • Best of spring

    This year, winter has seemed interminable, and cabin fever is hitting hard. Now that spring finally is here, the challenge is to get out there and enjoy it in the short window before summer gets here.  What to do? Go on a spring drive, see fiddlehead ferns unfurl and surround yourself with that delicate shade of chartreuse that seems to tint the air green.

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  • 15 great escapes in March

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  • Outdoors in the Kickapoo Valley

    In the coulees of southwest Wisconsin, a lush green zone draws anyone who craves a heady dose of nature. It starts in spring, when trilliums bloom along Rustic Roads, morel mushrooms pop out on hillsides and water rushes down the crooked Kickapoo River. It's not close to any city, but people find their way. Norwegians were first to be drawn to its deep, narrow valleys, like miniature fjords.

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  • Sugarbush safari

    Even if it looks like winter outside, you can count on maple trees to know otherwise. In late February, their sap starts to run, and that's "the sweet good-bye of winter,'' writes naturalist John Burroughs. Indigenous people were first to tap trees, inserting hollow reeds, letting the sap drip into troughs and boiling it down over a wood fire. The process isn't much different today, except most people use metal taps, plastic tubing and buckets to catch the sap.

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  • Spring in Traverse City

    In Traverse City, spring is when you get to do all the things you planned in summer before you got seduced away by sand and surf. I'd seen the enticing shops, theaters and tasting rooms on other visits and planned to check them out “some time.'' Some time arrived Mother's Day weekend, when Traverse City was awash in color. So many pear trees were flowering downtown that the streets look frosted, and magnolia blooms were as big as popcorn balls.

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  • 20 great spring drives

    It's a beautiful spring day — finally. The trees are budding, the birds are chirping. What do you do? Road trip! Somehow, the call of the highway is especially strong in spring. We want to feel the wind on our face and see something new and unusual. There's a lot to do along the way: Walk through bluebells, spot birds, visit artist studios, sample cheese, watch a parade.

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