Even though February is the shortest month of the year with only 28 days, sometimes it seems like it lasts forever. About now we are all waiting for spring to arrive.

There are certain indications for me that spring is going to be here soon. I am starting to see some of those signs around West Michigan...

Robins

Robin
Photo by Donald Healy on Unsplash
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The robin is the state bird of Michigan. For many, we get excited when we see our first robin of the year. It usually means spring is not far off -- or that the robin was crazy to come back to Michigan so early. I've seen several posts on social media of people spotting a robin.

Potholes

Rick Martinez/Townsquare Media Grand Rapids
Rick Martinez/Townsquare Media Grand Rapids
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In just the last week or so, the potholes on our Michigan roads have really started to develop. I've seen a few that are almost big enough to swallow a small car. In Grand Rapids, you can report potholes online -- here is the link. Potholes on county roads can be reported to the Kent County Road Commission at (616) 242-6950.  The Michigan Department of Transportation also has a website to report potholes on state roads and interstate freeways.

Ice Cream Shops Opening

Walker St. Dairy Queen
Photo: Google Maps/Walker St. Dairy Queen
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In some places the Dairy Queens are open year-round. Here in Grand Rapids, our Dairy Queens are only open during the warmer months. Driving by the Fulton Street Dairy Queen, I've noticed they are starting to gear up for the upcoming season. On Facebook, the Walker Street Dairy Queen announced their first day of operation for 2022 would be on Friday, March 4th! Other ice cream shops are gearing up for their openings.

Butterflies are Blooming

Butterfly
Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash
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Spring is just around the corner when the butterflies start emerging from their cocoons at Frederik Meijer Gardens. The Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition opens on Tuesday, March 1st and runs through Saturday April 30! There will be at least 60 colorful species, 7,000 butterflies and moths from Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Philippines and Kenya. Read more about it here.

Time Change - Spring Forward

Clocks
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
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Once the sun starts setting later in the evening it really starts to feel like spring is just around the corner. On Sunday, March 13th we officially "Spring Forward" and begin daylight saving time with our clocks. Once we move them ahead one hour the sunset time will be after 7:45 pm.

When you "spring forward", it is also a great time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Even if your smoke detectors are hard wired into your home's electrical system, they probably still have a battery for backup in case your power goes out. Make sure to test it to make sure it is working properly.

First Day of Spring

Spring Sunrise
Photo by Aniket Bhattacharya on Unsplash
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Spring officially arrives on Sunday, March 20th, at 11:33 am Eastern Time. By that time, our average high temperature in Grand Rapids is 46 degrees. The average low is 28. The sun comes up at 7:45 am on the first day of spring and sets again at 7:56 pm.

Dandelions in the Yard

Dandelion
Photo by Walter Sturn on Unsplash
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About the only thing we are missing now is for someone to post a picture of the first dandelion that is growing in their yard!

10 Spring Cleaning Chores Only Midwesterners Have To Do

Midwest winters sure give us a lot of extra things to do when the weather warms up. Here are some things you won't want to forget in your spring cleaning endeavors.

Things To Get Rid Of While Spring Cleaning

Are you ready to do some spring cleaning but don't know where to start? We know it's not easy to throw out personal stuff and at times you feel like you make use of everything. Being a hoarder is fun until your house starts looking like a complete mess.

Here are some things you probably should let go of during spring cleaning.