Take in spring with all your senses

Published 10:10 pm Saturday, May 5, 2018

It tarried a little longer than most of us would have liked, but spring is finally here in Suffolk.

Spring and fall are definitely my favorite seasons. The mild weather and glory of the changing seasons (sorry allergy sufferers!), all of the events going on and the fresh sights, smells and tastes are always fun to experience.

After the cold weather we just experienced that definitely overstayed its welcome, it’s great to step outside without having to brace yourself first. But the nice weather isn’t the only benefit of spring in Suffolk.

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Some friends brought fresh-picked strawberries from Faith Farms to the office the other day, and let’s just say they didn’t last long. Nothing quite matches a fresh, juicy strawberry that’s mostly sweet but has just a little bit of tart to it. If you like your strawberries at room temperature, you’re good to go. If you like them cold, just pop them in the fridge for a bit and you’ve got a cool treat.

On Saturday, it was refreshing to see painters around town participating in the “In Plein Site” plein-air painting event. From the French for “in the open air,” plein air in its simplest form means painting outside. Artists spread out throughout Suffolk on a gorgeous day for painting and created masterpieces that will be on display from May 17 to June 30 in the Suffolk Center for Cultural Art’s BB&T and Norfolk galleries. An opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. is free and open to the public. The exhibit will feature the work completed during Saturday’s painting event as well as other works in the plein air tradition.

Also Saturday was the first farmers’ market of the season, which is always a great spring event. Not only farmers with produce but also homemade foodstuffs and other kinds of crafts are always on offer at this great weekly event, which goes all the way through Nov. 17. The first market of each month will feature live music, activities and a petting zoo with other themed days scheduled throughout the season. If you don’t make it to the market on a regular basis, you’re truly missing out on the chance to support local farmers and craftspeople, enjoy the weather and pick up some great food or other items.

Another hallmark of spring in Suffolk are fundraising events galore, the two biggest of which are the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Both of these causes are important to me. My mom and her mom both have Type 2 diabetes, which puts me at high risk for it. My dad and my maternal grandfather both died of cancer, as have many others in my extended family. That’s why I’m proud that the paper supports both of these causes with multi-week coverage of these events and various people who are involved in them.

The Tour just happened last week, and Relay is coming up on May 18.

No matter what you love best about spring in Suffolk, make sure you don’t miss any of it this year!