Spring has sprung | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Spring has sprung

Like a chameleon, South Lake Tahoe regularly transforms itself.

The thing is, the seasonal turnaround is shrouded in mystery – some even speculate it happens overnight.

All of a sudden, from one day to the next, snowboard shops turn into bathing suit stores. Ski rental shops become bike shops. Restaurant decks open, ski resorts close, campsites come to life and sun-tanned bodies swarm the beaches.

So when does this silent change creep up on us?

The answer is right now. Two weeks ago, tall mounds of dirty snow covered every street corner and parking lot – today, tender crocuses and daffodils poke through beds of pine needles and only smidgens of snow linger in the shadiest parts of town.

Spring is here and hundreds of happy gardeners and homemakers have sprung to life.

“We’ve been absolutely blown away,” said Bing Brower, Kmart Garden Center store manager. “Everything regarding spring is selling. People are tired of looking at the white stuff and want some color. We’ve had a lot of paint sales, fertilizers, potting soils and bird seed.”

Brower has received several plant shipments and, maybe because most nurseries in town don’t open until May 1, customers have already snatched up every last one.

“We’ll get 300 roses Wednesday,” Brower said. “They will probably go really, really fast too, even though we might still get a little snow.”

Lakeview Sports manager Carl Barrett, packing large boxes of winter coats, gloves and hats, is busily switching from winter to summer inventory. But he will stock ski equipment for a while yet, catering to ever-lengthening ski seasons.

“We’ll rent skis until Memorial Day, we’ll probably be the only shop in town,” Barrett said. “We’re already renting plenty of bikes and plan to rent quite a few this weekend.”

Down the street at Sno-Flake Drive In, business is booming – the ice cream business that is. Owner Susie Richards said frosties and shakes are definitely the bestsellers.

And last, but definitely not least, a true sign that spring has finally arrived, the snow melted off Todd Fields. South Tahoe High School varsity and junior varsity baseball teams played Douglas County Tuesday.

“I was surprised we were able to play on this field today. I thought everything would still be covered with snow, but it’s beautiful,” said Douglas County mom Michele Lewis, glancing at the clear blue sky and breathing in the fresh spring air.

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