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Signs of spring starting to show in Northeast Ohio

From buzzards returning to Hinckley to skunk cabbage sprouting in wetlands, we can see the change of season across the area

AKRON, Ohio — There are signs of spring everywhere in Northeast Ohio.

At Suncrest Gardens Garden Center in Peninsula, you can see the buds on the forsythia and pussy willows, but the real sign is out front. 

"We're hoppin', really hoppin'" says Rob Cowrie, the center's manager. 

Business is booming and it's only going to get busier. They are in dire need of workers. "We're struggling to find people who want to work in the garden center business." 

They have lots of openings, both full and part time. 

Rob continued, "With the economy doing so well, we just don't get as many people as we used to." 

A few miles from the garden center on West Bath Road, the great blue herons are performing their spring rituals. Males entice prospective mates with sticks and twigs to build a nest where they raise their young. At Sand Run Metropark in Akron, the road closed signs are ready to go. Cool, rainy nights in spring trigger salamanders and frogs to migrate across Sand Run Parkway to mate and lay eggs in vernal pools. Spring peepers, wood frogs, and several types of salamander can be seen. 

Check the park website for details on guided night hikes.

Looking for signs of spring can make one quite thirsty. Right around the corner from Sand Run is R. Shea Brewing. They have several hand crafted beers and ales to enjoy. In about a month, they'll be tapping their Bock lager, the official beer of spring. 

But first, St. Patrick's Day! 

Brew master Jesse Dolar is ready. "We brewed our Irish Red and Irish Stout." Plus, they'll have both green and "glitter" beer. So, if you're going to celebrate spring's arrival, please do it responsibly. 

R.Shea's opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday for St. Patrick's Day weekend.