April showers bring May flowers

and other spring things


By the numbers Spring. Spring fever. Spring break. Spring cleaning. It is time to take family walks and cast nets for smelt and wonder what needs hauling out of the basement. There will be 92 days of it, and you are in the middle of it, by the numbers:

7,300 Acres of park land in Chicago for spring outings.

50,830,000 Trees now coming into bloom in Cook and DuPage counties.

5,000 Number of boats making their way to Chicago-area harbors as spring starts.

22 Percent of American RV owners who take family spring trips.

60 Percent of children ages 12 to 14 who say they would like to use spring vacation to spend more time with their parents.

148 Years since the phrase “spring cleaning” was first used.

35 Tons of debris recovered from the Chicago River during the Friends of the Chicago River’s most recent volunteer spring cleaning, including a car engine, 25 feet of concrete reinforcing bar, six bicycles and six coconuts.

95 Chicago’s rank among the nation’s top 100 cities for severity of spring allergies. (St. Louis, however, was fifth.)

30 Number of days in the spring smelt-fishing season.

12 Number of porta-potties put out by the Chicago Park District at harbors to accommodate smelt-fishing families.

13.6 Inches of snow that fell in Chicago in April 1938. So spring can be slow to start here.

39 Earth years until spring starts on Neptune, where it is now winter and minus 350 degrees Fahrenheit and the seasons are 42 years long. So it could be worse.

Zay N. Smith


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