Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spring Has Sprung So Head to the Beach

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spring Has Sprung So Head to the Beach

Article excerpt

Byline: Sylvia Simmons, Shorelines columnist

V formations of ducks and other birds have flown north. Purple Martins swarm. A baby humpback whale migrating north provided thrilling entertainment to lucky folks on Neptune Beach. Mocking birds and bumblebees are currently territorial. An osprey hatchling in a nest atop the Atlantic Beach water tower threatens our water purity. Beach renourishment has ceased because of the start of sea turtle nesting season. Mating abounds, and life is renewed.

Snowbirds have driven back north. Bless you if you had to be on an interstate with all those RVs.

The Oscars have come and gone so there won't be any decent movies for some time to come. March Madness has (thankfully) come to a conclusion. Winter is over, and it is time to go outside.

I started several serious columns about the beach such as "Why Atlantic, Neptune, and Jacksonville beaches decided to tear up all their roads at the same time, just as festivals have begun, including the Opening of the Beaches, and all of North Florida is invited to the beach." (Perhaps the street work is a counter-offensive conspiracy by some "save our beach" protest cabal in cahoots with the public works departments.)

But everywhere I go, the topic of conversation is "spring in paradise" so I decided to save the serious thoughts for future columns. We have just experienced the coldest January and February, and the rainiest, wettest March that we've had in years. We are ready for spring.

Cabin fever on a Kansas prairie couldn't be much worse than the malady "beachies" suffered this winter. All the new restaurant and boutique openings in the world couldn't satiate our need to leave our homes, winter past. We prefer spring fever. We've craved sun, warmth, clear days; these beautiful April days that have finally arrived (except for the rainy ones). Finally, we can GO TO THE BEACH. (Just don't go barefoot to south Jacksonville Beach where the sand is still littered with broken glass, razor-sharp broken shells and shards of rusted metal from the renourishment project.)

Surfers have put aside their wet suits and preschoolers have joined them in the still chilly surf. …

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