Searching for spring

(Updated)Spring has officially arrived. while it may not look like it outside, we’ve entered the spring season on the calendar. And despite dreary weather, there are touches of new life starting to break through the ice and snow.They say if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.And on the first day of spring the addition of two new lambs give hope to the addage.Nothing says spring like a newborn baby lamb. These twins were born just Thursday afternoon at Harrington Lane Farms.Krista Harrington of Harrington Lane Farms: “It was just like the best thing to come out, see a lamb and it it just gives you a push.”A push to hold out hope the weather will soon catch up to the calendar.If you look carefully there are hints of optimism budding. A few hardy plants have started to creep through the frozen ground.David Galbraith is the head of science at the RBG: “The plants are coming up above the ground now. So we’re seeing the green shoots, but we don’t see the flowers.”Even durable pansies can’t weather this cold. So gardeners eager for traditional march blooms are bringing signs of spring indoors.Dawn Thornton works at Terra: “They’re buying things for their home — like all of our bulbs and the colour and for their kitchen table.”Cyclists are waiting out the last of this winter weather, preparing for the day they can hit the road. Bike mechanic, Robert Iszkula of Bike Locke is working in overdrive so his clients have their gear ready for the thaw: “Everyone’s really wanting to push the envelope this year cause of how long our winter’s been.”A long winter makes the first taste of spring that much sweeter. So here’s hoping there’s truth in that proverb.If these signs of spring aren’t enough to cure you of the winter blues, here’s something that may cheer you up. The two little lambs born today are looking for names. One’s a boy and one’s a girl. If you have an idea, here is how to submit one. read more

Huffman takes unpaid leaveofabsence

A vote will be missing around the Norfolk council table for the next month.Waterford-area Coun. Kim Huffman served notice this week that she is  taking an unpaid leave-of-absence from her council duties while she campaigns for the local Liberals in the Oct. 21 federal election.Huffman did not attend Tuesday’s council meeting. Mayor Kristal Chopp relayed Huffman’s decision to the public.“Being a woman and a wife and a mother of four, sometimes I think I can do everything,” Huffman said Wednesday.“But I can’t believe how it has amped up over the past week. It’s crazy. It’s a lot. There aren’t enough hours in a day.”Not only does Huffman have dozens of Liberal volunteers counting on her every day, there is a lot of geography to overcome as well. The riding of Haldimand-Norfolk has an area of 3,000 square kilometres.Huffman said a campaign event in Port Rowan or Dunnville can occupy the better part of a day due to travel time alone.“I didn’t want to do just an adequate job at both,” Huffman said. “It’s a large riding.”Huffman will not collect her council pay during her leave.In the interim, Ward 7 constituents who have an issue are asked to relay their thoughts and concerns to Huffman’s seven council colleagues. Huffman says all council members subscribe to the “all-Norfolk approach” that was frequently mentioned during last fall’s municipal election.Huffman added that constituents should not expect the mayor to tend to ward issues because the latter is occupied with a full slate of county-wide concerns.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more