Spring Forward Into Nature

by D.J Wilson

 “Spring Forward” reminds us that most of the United States has entered Daylight Saving Time, when clocks are turned forward, moving one hour of daylight from the morning into the evening.  While critics believe this shift in time may cause disruption of sleep patterns, disturb recordkeeping and complicate busy schedules, most folks welcome additional daylight hours and will likely spend more time outdoors.  Spring is a season of delight for many reasons, marked by changes in weather, environment and a further increase in hours of sunlight due to changes in earth’s latitude.   Frost subsides and blades of grass turn from dull yellow to emerald green.  New life flourishes as robins build nests in which to lay their eggs at mid-morning, and flowering plants take bloom.  Gone, for now, are the dormant days of winter.  Spring is arriving and the beauty of the season is our invitation to explore these and other fabulous places:

Chickasaw National Recreation Area,  Sulphur, Oklahoma – Nestled in the foothills of the rolling Arbuckle Mountains, Chickasaw National Recreation Area is high on the list of  attractive places to explore in south-central Oklahoma. The meandering Travertine Creek winds throughout the park, creating picturesque beauty and providing a place to enrich one’s soul.  It’s no wonder that over one hundred years ago, American Indians referred to it as the ‘Peaceful Valley of Rippling Waters’.    As Oklahoma’s oldest national park area, Chickasaw National Recreation Area contains diverse resources, including natural springs.  The area sits in a transition zone, where eastern deciduous forest meets western prairies.  This has created a unique environment for plants and wildlife.  Offering an abundance of lush landscape and stunning creek views, visitors enjoy activities like hiking, cycling swimming, and camping.  The area boasts exceptional bass fishing on the pristine Lake of the Arbuckles, with 36 miles of shoreline ideal for watersports.  The peacefulness of the natural setting makes it the perfect backdrop for springtime relaxation or for a family picnic. While the park is open 24 hours daily, all year long, you’ll want to get a jump-start on your visit, as it becomes crowded during summer months.

Mackinac Island, Michigan – The Mackinac Island area covers 3.8 square miles of land and is part of the state of Michigan.  Located in the Straits of Mackinac, approximately 7 miles east of the Mackinac Bridge, it is proudly called ‘the all-natural theme park of America’.  The 500 friendly residents of Mackinac Island help to maintain the charm of the village, reminiscent of the early 1800’s and showcasing many Victorian-style architectural gems.  Spring is an ideal time to visit to beat the summer rush.  Visitors will want to dress warmly, as average spring temperatures range between 32 and 47 degrees.  Bear in mind that even in the summer, temperatures in this region are moderate. Surrounded by water and accessible by boats and ferries, transportation within the Island is strictly by means of horse and buggy or by bicycle or foot.    Explore the natural beauty of the Mackinac Island State Park and be sure to visit Fort Mackinac, a restored fort constructed by British soldiers during the American Revolution.  The Island offers excellent accommodations, such as the award winning Grand Hotel which features tastefully decorated themed rooms from the Lincoln Room to the Hollywood Suite.  Enjoy rocking on the hotel’s historically large porch overlooking beautiful Lake Huron.  Visitors may have good fortune to observe majestic bald eagles on the Island.  Abundant in the months of April and May, these migratory birds are sometimes known to spend the whole year on the Island near open waters.  With gorgeous views of golden sunsets glistening on the lake, a trip to Mackinac Island is bound to be unforgettable.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area –    Located about a two hour drive from New York City or Philadelphia, the Delaware Water Gap area is a lovely haven filled with rivers, lakes, streams, ravines and waterfalls.  In 1965, Congress established the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to preserve history.  The park gives sanctuary to 70,000 acres of land along the middle section of the Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  A 40 mile portion of the Delaware River within the National Recreational area is granted protected status under the National Wild and Scenic River Systems, run by the National Park Service.  The river cuts eastward at the south end of the park, through the Appalachian Mountains at the scenic Delaware Water Gap.  In the 1800s, resorts flourished in the area, making the Water Gap a lovely get-away location for city dwellers.  Today, it is the perfect playground for those who love the great outdoors. The Delaware Water Gap is known for its natural beauty and guests to the area have a plethora of seasonal activities from which to choose, such as canoeing, hiking, camping, picnicking, biking, horseback riding and swimming.  Visitors can enjoy a one day auto tour of the park to observe picturesque mountain and water scenes.  Along the winding roadsides and peeking through the woods are native species growing in abundance.  Wild geraniums, which bloom from April to June, display their rose-purple petals and beautify the scenery. For those seeking history excursions, a tour of Millbrook Village offers accounts from the past.  Visit structures original to the town, such as a boarding house built circa 1850, and observe volunteers dressed in period costumes.  The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a place where history and nature memorably converge.

Blooming crocuses in the meadows and woodlands serve as welcome signs of spring.  Let us take pride in the beauty of the season and seize occasions to explore the best nature has to offer.

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Esther K
9 years ago

I chuckle too Vince, I heard it described as the man who cut the end off his blanket and sewed it to the top. What good did THAT do? The whole idea is silly! I thought it was silly in eighth grade when they were bandying the idea around. If a Jr. high student could figure out how stupid the idea is, why couldn’t all those high ups? Farmers (I live in rural area) still do most things by the sun the way they always did. Cows still have to be milked the same “time” etc. Seems the city folks who need their golf fix are the ones who benefit.

diane haselroth
9 years ago

Has anyone noticed how gradually every year the change to daylight savings time gets earlier in the year and the change back to standard time gets later in the year? Plainly this is costing Americans precious sleep…sleep, which is the most important thing in fighting cancer and the building of our immune systems, etc…I could go on and on. Why don’t we have a say in the manner?

John Galanoudis
9 years ago

Diane,I think we may have a say in the manner if our voices are loud enough and to the right people.
I’ ve been trying for quite some time now sending messages to my Congressman, Peter King, NY, and the New York Times, to do the following : Since we are now on Daylight Savings Time, come November, we should turn all Clocks and other Timepieces ” back only 1/2 an hour ” and ……” never, ever,ever have to touch them again !
I have not received an answer from anybody yet ( I imagine they get too many emails and have some ….teenagers screening them ).Anyway, if my idea ever becomes reality,nobody will ever loose any precious sleep and, by the way,we taxpayers will also save an awful lot of money. How, you ask ? Let me explain : You think Congress is wasting a lot with all the stupid and idiotic pork ? Well, did you know that our illustrious Pentagon is spending …………….” TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS “, twice a year, yes, every time we change our clocks,to synchronize their new time with all our Military Bases,Aircraft Carriers,other Navy ships and Submarines around the World ? How stupid is that? How many hungry Americans could that money feed ?
Well, Diane, let’s hope that someone will listen to my plea and push all the way to Congress,because I was told that only Congress can approve such a change.
I don’t know about you, as you only seem to be concerned about your precious sleep, but I have the problem of having to change around …40 clocks, watches, VCR’S e.t.c.
Well, yiassou for now, Good Luck to us and to America !

9 years ago

Because Congress knows better than us…and if nothing else, they have the power to change the time. It doesn’t have to make sense…they think it’s better for us. I just hope they don’t get really power happy and move time so that our afternoon thunderstorms come after midnight.

Gloria P. Sterling
9 years ago

I agree about it not being safe for the kids going to school. I remember when it was changed to all year and my children had to WALK in the dark; they didn’t have school buses for any children that lived only 2 miles away. We also didn’t have two cars in most families so they could be transported, in case anyone says “why didn’t you take them?”.

Gloria P. Sterling
9 years ago

There is really no “additional” daylight, just a shift in where it is. We still have the same number of hours of “daylight”; so why not call it “shifting daylight time”, not “saving”. I really don’t know anything it “saves” and the only benefit as far as I am concerned is not having to back out of my driveway in the dark when I have to go somewhere at night.

Jerry Stipcak
9 years ago

Let’s end this ridiculous time change nonsense once and for all. Let’s finalize and move the time by 30 minutes never to change it again. Now the people who like standard time are satisfied for the most part; the people who like daylight savings time are satisfied. No one will be bothered by ever having to change their time again. Let’s put this behind us!

The same nonsense applies to our coinage. Why are we wasting time counting nickels and pennies. They are no longer worth anything!!!!! Let’s cast them out of our lives into the annals of history and save the millions of dollars involved in their management and manufacture.

9 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Stipcak


John Galanoudis
9 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Stipcak

Jerry, I salute you wholeheartedly ! I don’t know when you were hit by the idea of 1/2 hour change (instead of the stupid One whole hour ), but it hit me , oh, about 12 to 15 years ago ( and that is a fact and registered in a lot of places ) I’m looking for credit, I’m just thrilled to see that someone else has the same idea as I did so long ago.Please see my reply to Diane as well . Take care my friend !

John Galanoudis
9 years ago

Sorry, I meant to say ” I’m not looking for credit ” ( just a typing slip-up )

Jo Johnston
9 years ago

I agree totally with the previous comment! The change in time is useless as I’m still going to need the same amount of sleep hours before rising at the same hour/time for work. Who wants to retire when the sky is still light? Who wants to wake up before the sky is light? I don’t. And I’m still grumpy from the time change! Can you tell?

Joe L.
9 years ago

If the earth’s latitudes changed wouldn’t we need to be drawing new maps?

Vince Jerome
9 years ago

I’m sorry, but I have to chuckle when I read all the hubbub regarding Daylight Saving Time touting the benefits of saving energy, giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evening allowing us to spend more time outdoors. Please, give me a break! We all still get up at the same time every morning,but now it is darker! The kids are standing on the corner waiting for their buses in the dark-so much for the safety of our kids. And let’s not forget the ability to spend more time outdoors at night. I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish the idea of spending time outdoors in March,or even April for that matter. It’s still pretty chilly in NJ at night. BTW, they’re calling for possible snow this weekend. Do you feel like being outside?

If we’re going to keep bouncing back and forth let’s wait until we really can enjoy warm weather and the benefits of extra daylight. How about changing the clocks to DST at the end of May; and not March?

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