Will winter ever quit?

St. Patrick's Day has come and went and I swear the weather spent a little too much time at the bar. It is spring as of yesterday, weather -- act like it.

Winter sports are over, and it is time to give way to bats pinging, mitts popping and the whooshing sound of a tennis ball being thrashed by a racket. And then there is track and field, a sport that has enjoyment of the spring sun as a prerequisite.

Oh, and the hard hits of boys' lacrosse will be sure to wet football fans' whistles until August arrives. But all of these sports need one common thing -- sun and warmth.People are sick and tired of winter temperatures -- we want sunshine and warm temperatures. My dog has had enough of the cold, too. You try and push a stubborn 85-pound Rottweiller mix out the door in the morning to do his business when it is 20 degrees. He is not amused by this cold weather. He is used to his long hikes on the trails around our house and swims in the lake. This winter has made him more lethargic than ever, and that's saying a lot for Doey, who is normally a pretty lazy boy.

Yesterday, it was 58 degrees and I was zipping around with Doey in the backyard tossing the football to him and running him down. Today, I am inside staying warm, and he is settling for a rawhide candy cane leftover from Christmas. Is it too much to ask for winter to give up, throw in the towel and let the old thaw that we yearn for mecifully begin? It has been one of the more bitter cold winter seasons in recent memory.

Last baseball season, it took a couple additional weeks for the snow to melt off of the area baseball and softball diamonds, but this year, it might take even longer. Northeastern University returned from its spring baseball swing down in Florida to play its first true home game Saturday, and it plowed its turf field to do so.

Artificial turf provides the versatility to plow despite frigid conditions, if it is done before it freezes. It would be nice to see some turf fields sprout up around the area for that very reason, but the high cost of installation is what turns many of the area schools away. After the success many of the local winter teams had this season, there is reason to be excited for what the spring has to offer. Can North Middlesex continue its successful winter season that was capped off by its hockey team being crowned Division 3A State Champions? One can only hope. Bromfield baseball is on the rise under second-year head coach Fred McDonald.

The team has all new home and away uniforms along with a fence and a bullpen mound being installed at the Pond Road Field in Harvard.

Groton-Dunstable, who came close to qualifying for a district berth, will make a push to make the postseason under seventh-year head coach Matt LeBlanc.

And then there is Ayer Shirley, a team who under Scott Callanan appears to be heading in the right direction. The Panthers battled in a lot of close games last season, and with the return of star junior pitcher and shortstop Danny Baldino, Ayer Shirley appears to be on the upward trajectory.

The front of the Nashoba Publishing office in Devens is clear of snow, and the grass is a rusty greenish brown color. Every time I peer out my office window, the grass reminds me that spring is not so far off.. Spring is just around the corner, but there is no telling how wide that corner actually is.