It seems like this seemingly unnatural spring-ish weather just keeps right on springing in the northland.
And even this pessimistic North Dakotan is beginning to contemplate the notion of storing the snow blower until next winter, despite his better judgment.
While some cooler temperatures early this week may have brought the state's residents a bit collectively closer to reality, the truth is that, compared to most years, even 40 degrees and no snow is head-and-shoulders more tolerable than the alternative.
You know: snow that doesn't leave until May, the ever-despised late March blizzards, and ice so thick on area lakes that walleye lovers wonder if they'll be sitting on buckets and jigging mini rods on fishing opener.
Looking at it that way, this really isn't all that bad.
There's another bonus, too: these customary "important date" columns might actually serve some purpose besides merely informing readers what days their favorite sport "might" begin.
Heck, just look at track and field for further evidence; they're playing all their indoor meets outdoors, for crying out loud.
No snow-storm cancellations (yet), no fields-still-too-wet postponements. If there's a better chance for snowballs in Hades, I couldn't say when that would be.
Without further ado, here's a rundown of important dates, games and tournaments for the 2012 spring varsity sports season. As always, schedules are subject to change, so visit www.easterndakotaconference.org regularly for up-to-the-minute listings.
Track and field: East Region indoor (outside) tournament - April 3, at West Fargo, 3 p.m. Outdoor home opener - April 10, West Fargo Invitational vs. Wahpeton, Fargo North, 1 p.m. East region tournament - May 19, at Fargo South, 1 p.m. State tournament - May 25-26, at Bismarck.
Softball: Home opener - Friday, vs. Fargo South at Elmwood Park, doubleheader, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. East Region tournament - May 24-26, Elmwood Park. State tournament - May 31-June 2, Elmwood Park.
Baseball: Home opener - April 3, vs. Grand Forks Central, doubleheader, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. East Region tournament - May 24-26, at Fargo. State tournament - May 31-June 2, at Mandan.
Girls tennis: Home opener - April 13, vs. Shanley, 4 p.m. West Fargo Invitational - May 12. State tournament - May 24-26, at Fargo area courts.
Boys golf: Season opener - April 17, at Kings Walk Golf Course, 9 a.m. Home opener - April 24, at Village Green, 9 a.m. East Region tournament - May 30, a Edgewood Golf Course. State Tournament - June 5-6, at Heart River Golf Course, Dickinson.
Girls soccer: Home opener - April 10, vs. Fargo South, 7 p.m. State Tournament - May 31-June 2, at Cushman Field, West Fargo.
Pioneer Sports Editor Tyler Shoberg can be reached at 701-451-5717 or email@example.com.