Could it be? Have I been seeing a trend the last few days? I hope so. Maybe – just maybe – the weather is at last beginning to act as it should. Maybe we’re finally going to leave the colder weather behind!

Sure, I know that means we’re on our way to “hot” again. That’s just the way Georgia summers are, and we can’t do much about it.

But before the heat gets here, we get to enjoy what a friend of mind once called the “best time of all.” He was talking about those magic weeks between cold weather’s final exit and summer’s blazing arrival.

It’s a time of year I love. Fishing gets good and stays good. The hiking to the stream is nigh onto perfect – not so hot that I break a sweat on every climb, but also not so cold that I have to wear 10 layers of clothing to keep from freezing. There’s water in the rivers for canoeing, and that means more “floating” and less “dragging.” The list goes on and on, and no matter what you like to do in the great outdoors, the time seems just right.

Things are especially fun if you’ve got kids in the household. Warm weather just seems to wake ’em up somehow. They’re ready to get outside and do something! Come on, Mom and Dad, let’s go!

The only hard thing is deciding just exactly what to get outside and do!

Being the helpful sort that I am, I’ve got a great suggestion on something that will help you get the outdoor season going in fine style. It’s the Keeping Georgia Wild Festival on Saturday, May 19, at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Ga.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this free event will offer an array of activities that focus on Georgia wildlife, conservation and outdoor recreation. Kids can try archery, fishing, shooting sports, tree climbing and mini-boat rides led by Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ conservation rangers. Live animal presentations, face painting, solar viewing with the Charlie Elliott Astronomy Club and exhibitors displaying wildlife-themed booths will add to the fun. New this year is a gun safety event with Law Enforcement at the shooting range, and attendees will also get to enjoy a free hot dog lunch – and the first 500 kids to register will get a free T-shirt!

To get to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, take I-20 east to Exit 98.

Travel south on Highway 11, go through Mansfield and continue three miles south to the entrance at Marben Farm Road on the left. Then follow the signs to the Discovery Area.  

This event will be held rain or shine. To learn more about it, visit georgiawildlife.com/KeepingGAWILD or call 770-784-3059.  

I hope to see you there!

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