Means of Mood Elevation
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Spring is a cheerful time of year. The sun gathers strength, buds get ready to burst, and new life is springing into being all around us.

The Whiteface Region is a wonderful place to enjoy the spring. Because there are some unique and charming methods of celebrating it, all gathered in this special place.

Chocolate: the source

Once upon a time, there was a real Candy Man. He handed over his top secret chocolate recipes to the present owner, who changed the name to Adirondack Chocolates. And... discovered that the longtime local fans kept calling it Candy Man.

He went with the flow, and this local candy factory is now known as Candy Man Homemade Adirondack Chocolates & Gifts. But by any name, it would taste as sweet.

So pretty it's a shame to eat them. But a chocolate lover has to do what a chocolate lover has to do.

These freshly made, newly decorated, chocolate bunnies are ready for Easter action. Made on the premises from a secret recipe, hand decorated, and from vintage carved molds, this is a classic in all ways when they come from Adirondack Chocolates.

This is some serious stuff to fill that basket which, in many homes, mysteriously appears from the Easter Bunny. But whether you believe in the Bunny, or not, any chocolate fan will enjoy some of these outstanding goodies.

Array of Easter treats from Adirondack Chocolates. Hard to choose a favorite.

All of the chocolates are made in the factory at the Four Corners, where there is also an excellent gift shop with clothes, stuffed animals, and unique Adirondack gifts. But of course, the main attraction is the "lighted stage" of the display case, where a dizzying array of favorites, in milk and dark and white chocolate, beg to be taken home.

Everyone is a fan of the long long counter where you can chose anything you want. It's sold by the pound.

Adding to the charm, we suggest grabbing a cup of coffee and finding one of their benches to sit on as you take a moment to revel in the wonderful vantage point—mountains and nature surround you. It is also walking distance from the downtown riverfront park, with its scenic bridge, spillway dam, and Visitor Center.

Celebrate spring with a tasty treat from Adirondack Chocolates. (Weather may vary. It does that.)

It's true. All roads do lead to Adirondack Chocolates.

Wildflower appreciation

By mid-May there are over twenty species of early wildflowers in bloom. They may be small in size, but when you have the right perspective, they are big on beauty.

Bogbean blooms in April, and is found in wetlands. To find it on a spring hike, look for places like Silver Lake Bog or Wickham Marsh Wildlife Area. A fine loop with lots of water is Owen, Copperas, and Winch Ponds.

Bogbean, in the midst of bursting into their snowy delicacy. (Photo courtesy

Coltsfoot is one of the first wildflowers to bloom, only most of the time it is mistaken for dandelion. Get in close, and you will see that this is not the uniform shaggy head we are so used to seeing on less-than-perfect lawns. Instead, coltsfoot has a prominent center section, with finer petals in profusion circling the stem. The stem itself is much thicker and shaggier than dandelion. Once you get used to looking for the differences, they are easy to spot.

Coltsfoot, a very early bloomer, and a welcome touch of ground level sunshine.

Coltsfoot likes damp and shady conditions in heavier soils, and is often found when these thick areas are disturbed and aerated. But its adaptability means it can pop up in sunny areas near brooks and riversides, too. Fine places to spot these are near running water on hikes to Monument Falls, which is an easy to find roadside location, or Stag Brook Falls, which is two hours round trip with an easy climb. Bear Den Mountain is a 4.5-mile hike with mixed terrain and a gorgeous summit view.

All of these are on trails below the 3,000-feet mark, which is the limit of spring hiking until mid-June, when the trails have dried out and can take traffic without damage.

The classic trillium, Adirondack wildflower extraordinaire. (Photo courtesy M. Thomas)

Trillium is a most Adirondack wildflower. They can be found in colors from pure white all the way to deepest burgundy, which is the earliest color, blooming at the end of April and early May. What wakes them up is the early sunlight that floods the forest floor where the deciduous trees have not fully leafed out yet. So you'll want to hike a hardwood forest. The Flume Trail System and Beaver Brook Trails have varied terrains with mixes of hardwoods and conifers, along with wide trails to let in the sunlight.

Remember to take only photographs, and leave these lovelies where you found them. A trillium can live to be up to twenty-five years old. These are not dandelions, which will spread heedless of attempts to stop them. These Alpine wildflowers are far more fragile.

Oh, baby

Spring is also the season of cute baby animals. Here you go.

Sugar Hill Creamery gets to look at these big baby browns every spring, and so can their guests.

Sugar Hill Creamery has a herd of Brown Swiss cows that renews itself in the spring with the birth of the most adorable baby cows there are. And I don't think that just because Brown Swiss is my favorite cow. Because... see above.

In mid-May this farm celebrates letting their cows out of the barn to enjoy the new pasture in a party they call the Green Grass Getdown. It's a lively get-together celebrating all things fresh and spring.

It's a party at the Green Grass Getdown.

The date has not yet been set (weather dependent, of course,) but be on the lookout.

At Asgaard Farm, there are lots of goats. Which leads to baby goats. Which leads to joy.

A baby goat will help you smile.

They have announced their 5th Annual Kidding Day for Saturday, April 21, 2018. The farm is open for tours, treats, and meeting the baby goats—who always look like they are up to something. According to those who know them well, this is entirely accurate.

To sum up, spring in the Whiteface Region is all about tempting deliciousness, delicate beauty, and incredible cuteness. Doesn't resistance feel futile?

Find a delightful place to stay. Celebrate further with a fine meal. Check the events calendar for when the farms welcome visitors.

Pamela Merritt

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