LAKE COUNTY \u2014 After a long cold winter, one which seemed more frigid than usual with long stretches of windy and bitter days, spring is now in the air. The sweet concerto of bird songs one can now hear echoing through the trees and above the hilly fields is one of the first signs of spring, with sandhill cranes, geese, red-winged blackbirds, robins and other feathered-creatures returning north. Lindsay Rawson, of Wellston, was excited to see bright purple and yellow crocus blossoms bursting from the damp, thawing earth, announcing themselves on the first day of spring Sunday, March 20. The mud from last week's thaws, which made travel down Lake County's many hilly dirt roads slippery and complicated, is beginning to dry out. In the weeks and next couple months to come, there will be many opportunities for area residents and visitors to enjoy the splendor of the nature Lake County offers, from hiking through the woods filled with trillium and violets, to gathering wildwood delicacies such as wild leeks (also known as ramps), morel mushrooms and catching a trout in a stream. There may be more cold, wintery days ahead, but spring will soon be here to stay.