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Its springtime in Manteca
The spring-like weather Friday brought this great egret out to an irrigation canal in rural south Manteca to catch a little bit of breeze and some wiggly creatures for its meal. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
Spring has sprung.

Today is officially the first day of spring 2010. But many area residents did not even wait for the calendar to tell them it’s time to get out and putter in the garden, get the Weed-eater out and banish the unwanted and annoying weeds out of the flowerbeds. If you drove around town or just around your neighborhood Friday, chances are you saw about half a dozen or more industrious homeowners and avid gardeners getting busy with their noisy gas-powered weed-be-gone wizards all around their front yards.

And you know it’s spring when the exquisite redbud tree that is the centerpiece of Wilson Park just behind the Post Office in downtown Manteca has exploded in a riot of delicate purplish pink flowers. For avid shutterbugs, this is the best time to capture its peak bloom. You may even catch a few busy bees buzzing all over the newly opened buds.

You can tell spring is here because the number of garage sales around are picking up fast. If you are one of those dedicated treasure hunters, you’re in luck today. There’s an entire neighborhood at Yorktown Lane off Lexington Avenue north of East Louise Avenue that’s staging a garage sale extravaganza today as a fund-raiser for their neighbors who lost everything to the fire that gutted their home late last year. It’s more than just a garage sale though. They are also having a drawing for various donated prizes such as a trip to a local beauty salon or fitness center. Captain Marvin Mears of the Manteca Fire Department is even donating a bicycle for the cause.

And that’s just the beginning of this year’s spring flings. As the weather gets warmer, expect a plethora of community events and activities that will keep everyone busy, happy and entertained. There’s the perennially popular and widely attended Manteca Street Fair, for one. Along with it are the equally popular annual Arbor Day festivities and the family-oriented Earth Day programs and activities at Caswell State Memorial Park slated sometime in April. But those are just for starters.

Get your calendars out now – electronic or the printed kind – and mark those red-letter days to enjoy the most of spring 2010.