5 ways we can tell spring is on its way to the Miami Valley

Roger Garber captured this photograph in April 2020 of a family of foxes surrounding a groundhog.
Roger Garber captured this photograph in April 2020 of a family of foxes surrounding a groundhog.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

As the Miami Valley endures the last handful of cold days of winter, spring is giving hints that it’s on its way to warm up the region.

Forget the winter jacket, and don’t forget those sunglasses: here are some ways we know winter is taking its last gasps in the Dayton area.

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1💐One of the largest Midwest tulip displays is about to bloom near Dayton

“Zoo Blooms,” a month-long celebration of colorful early-blossoming flowers, will be on display at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden from April 1-30.

More than 100,000 tulips will flower, making Zoo Blooms one of the largest tulip displays in the Midwest, zoo officials said. A million daffodils, hyacinths, bulbs and flowering trees will also be on display throughout the park.

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The tulip’s Marian name is “Mary’s Prayer.” It is one of the flowers currently on display at the University of Dayton’s library. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The tulip’s Marian name is “Mary’s Prayer.” It is one of the flowers currently on display at the University of Dayton’s library. SUBMITTED PHOTO

2💐Woodland Cemetery’s wildlife is springing back

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, located at 118 Woodland Ave., just off of Brown St. near University of Dayton’s campus, is home to a number of woodland creatures, including foxes, coyotes, great horned owls, groundhogs, geese, rabbits, squirrels, deer, red-tailed hawks, many other species of birds, and more, all interacting with one another in a circle of life in the midst of a cemetery.

Angie Hoschouer, Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum manager of development and marketing, said that as winter draws to a close, groundhogs are beginning to emerge regularly. With birds signaling the start of spring and busy groundhogs scurrying across the path of cemetery visitors, Woodland supports a whole community of wildlife that is once again coming to life.

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Two baby great horned owls in March 2019 at Woodland Cemetery, photographed by Roger Garber.
Two baby great horned owls in March 2019 at Woodland Cemetery, photographed by Roger Garber.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

3💐Dayton’s favorite restaurant patios are opening back up

Throughout the Miami Valley, restaurants are opening their patios to the public and offering a safer way to dine on your favorite Dayton staples. Unsure of where to start? We have come up with a list of the best restaurant patios in the Miami Valley, from Blind Bob’s Bar to Franco’s Ristorante Italiano.

Click here to visit our guide to the best restaurant patios in the Dayton area.

Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, continues to stay open doing takeout food. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF
Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, continues to stay open doing takeout food. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

4💐The Midwest’s favorite bike trail is back in action

Though open year round, the Miami Valley Trail Network is seeing its usual influx of spring bike riders who have been itching to get back on trail.

Centered around Dayton, the bike trail is the nation’s largest paved trail network with more than 340 miles to explore and enjoy.

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National Bike Month is celebrated across the country in May. What better place to celebrate than the Miami Valley, which boasts the nation s largest paved trail network with more than 340 miles to explore and enjoy. CONTRIBUTED
National Bike Month is celebrated across the country in May. What better place to celebrate than the Miami Valley, which boasts the nation s largest paved trail network with more than 340 miles to explore and enjoy. CONTRIBUTED

5💐Local food trucks are warming up their engines

Some food trucks continue to make their rounds across the Miami Valley through the winter, although springtime is definitely the start of a tastier food truck season. Food-truck events will soon begin popping up more regularly, and a permanent “Food Hub” food-truck rally of sorts is in the works in downtown Dayton.

The Drunken Waffle — offering savory waffles, sandwiches and sides, many of which are infused with local craft beer — joined The Pizza Bandit as a mainstay outside of Yellow Cab Tavern at 700 E. Fourth St. in downtown Dayton last week.

The third and fourth permanent vendors are expected to be announced soon, according to Brian Johnson, public coordinator at Yellow Cab Tavern.

ExplorePermanent ‘Food Hub’ of sorts coming to downtown bar
The Drunken Waffle will join The Pizza Bandit and two other local food trucks as mainstays at The Yellow Cab Tavern in downtown Dayton.
The Drunken Waffle will join The Pizza Bandit and two other local food trucks as mainstays at The Yellow Cab Tavern in downtown Dayton.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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