I hear this phrase quite often here-and it’s not the sarcastic version either…spring has had to wrestle rather hard this year to convince winter to loosen its hold. With spring starting to prevail, many of the reasons we love to be here are impossible to ignore. Here’s a snapshot of 24 of my hours this week: With the appearance of 50-degree weather that forced the snow in the lower lying meadows to all but disappear, the fences demand repair. So I responded and waded through calf deep snow interrupted by patches of standing water and patches of higher ground with the first shoots of lime green meadow grass. My presence in the middle of a giant field startled the sandhilll cranes but after a while their loud squawks of alarm subsided, and they settled back into their spring routine. Working while immersed in the changing season was good for the soul. With a little recharge under my belt, I turned my attention to my ranch brokerage and got in a little computer and client time. On the way in to town, I had to slow down while a cinnamon colored black bear (who had obviously made it through hibernation in great condition) lumbered across the county road and down to the river. At the grocery store I ran into several people I know. We exchanged talk about family, the weather, real estate and ranching—all the little things woven into the fabric of a good community. I often warn people when they move here that it’s perfectly acceptable to be a few minutes late; you never know when you will have to stop and get a few photos of a wayward bear or take some time to catch up with your neighbor in the grocery store. Steamboat is special in that way-there’s a laid-back vibe and it forces me to slow down and take the time to appreciate the days I am spending on this earth. On my way home, I had to stop numerous times for elk to move from the same road the bear had crossed earlier in the day. These are sure signs of spring: wildlife and humans both welcoming the change here in paradise.