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In Florida, the signs of spring abound

Oak pollen on your car. Zyrtec on your kitchen counter.

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Swallow-tailed kites from South America soaring above the cypress hoping to snatch dragonflies from midair. Bald eagle chicks screaming from nests near every lake, bay and bayou. At Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, ravenous wood stork chicks by the thousands waiting impatiently for parent birds to return with minnows.

Azaleas. Orange blossoms. In Grapefruit League play, Joe Maddon searches for a fifth starting pitcher. Tourist traffic creeps west toward the beaches.

Swallow-tailed butterflies flitting acrobatically through your back yard. Tiny black-and-yellow lubber grasshoppers emerge and begin eating anything green. Parula warblers in the thickets. Chuck-will's-widows calling forlornly outside open windows in the wee hours, eyes glowing in your flashlight's beam.

Carolina jessamine. Redbud trees firing up. Walter's viburnum along the Suncoast Parkway snowing cream-white petals.

Male alligators on the move, looking for girlfriends, ready to fight and to bellow, telling us something about where we live.

In Florida, it's spring.

Jeff Klinkenberg can be reached at klink@tampabay.com.

In Florida, the signs of spring abound 03/07/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 8:41pm]
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