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Since we've been cooped up all winter, it would be a shame to be stuck watching spring bloom from indoors.

Spring pleasures abound under pine pollen dust 

After another long, cold and dreary winter, there is no mistaking that spring has sprung in Raleigh. Despite the annual dusting of pine pollen, residents are ready to welcome sunny warmth and all the season has to offer.

Larry Larson owns the Larry's Beans roaster on Gavin Street. He wants to fling open his warehouse doors to both let the spring air in and the rich coffee aroma spill out. "The energy really increases during this season," notes the caffeinated Larson. "Raleigh just comes back alive again during the spring."

When temperatures begin to climb, Larson recommends the seasonal Woodstock Blend. "It makes great iced coffee," he says.

A boost of vivid color is another way to say so long to winter doldrums. Gail Ingram, landscape design specialist at Logan Trading Co., recommends the purchase of bright perennials, or be bold and establish an orchard with such big sellers as blueberry bushes and apple trees.

If you're a Raleigh locavore, your food consumption likely changes with the seasons. The switch from winter to spring brings different species of fish to choose from at Saltwater Seafood Market off Capital Boulevard, which receives deliveries of fresh-caught coastal fish nearly every day.

"The spring leads to warmer waters, which then leads to overall stronger and better fish," says manager Mike Earp. Expect to see flounder, speckled trout and his customers' favorite choice, live blue crab, in coming weeks.

With a cold-brewed coffee in hand, bright flowers in the garden and seafood selected for dinner, don't get caught wearing flannel plaids and winter boots as you continue the hunt for other seasonal delights. Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko, founders of Raleigh Denim, whose on-trend designs are carried by leading fashion purveyors like Barneys New York, have created a line of spring apparel suitable for whatever runway you please.

"In the springtime people want button-down shirts and blouses, shorts and lighter-weight pants in general," says Victor Lytvinenko, whose Martin Street workshop hand-makes the limited edition clothes, which are sold in its Curatory and at Vermillion in North Hills.

Lytvinenko is glad to be busy, but there are times he'd like to be out riding his bike or enjoying all manner of outdoor sports with others. N.C. State Athletic Director Debbie Yow feels the same way.

"I enjoy the opportunity to enjoy the events outside, which means getting sun, too," she says. "After a long winter, that is always welcome."

Yow treasures the time she spends outdoors enjoying baseball and softball games, but others are not so fortunate. The things that make spring grand for some make them intolerable for severe allergy sufferers.

Dr. Scott Nash of Nash Allergy and Asthma is no stranger to these complaints. During the springtime months, his tissue-stocked office is filled with watery-eyed patients who can't stop sneezing.

Nash states that the two primary springtime allergies are tree pollen and grass pollen. Tree pollens start in March and remain high until April; grass pollen becomes problematic in May and June.

While many people affected by seasonal allergies can get relief from over-the-counter products, Nash says he or another Raleigh-area allergy specialist can help calm symptoms to make spring more enjoyable. After all, since we've been cooped up all winter, it would be a shame to be stuck watching spring bloom from indoors.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Achoo!"

  • Since we've been cooped up all winter, it would be a shame to be stuck watching spring bloom from indoors.

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