One of the most exciting things about this time of the year is the countdown to spring.

 Yes, we’re all wearing winter clothes and will be for quite awhile yet, and our gardens are still frozen and dormant. But days are getting longer and the first day of spring is officially here Thursday, March 19, just a month away.

 This is actually the earliest day the spring equinox can be on the calendar, signaling the beginning of this season. It always occurs on either March 19, 20 or 21, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

 That means spring colors — from pastels to brights — and lighter textures and fabrics are showing up in stores, even though it may be awhile before we can wear them. We all know Michigan weather can be pretty fickle in the winter.

 But it’s still fun to take a walk through local stores, dream of warmer weather, and pick up a few spring items to get us ready for warm, sunny days.

Red Fox Outfitters in Fenton

 You can pick up just about anything you need for outdoor wear and an adventure lifestyle at Red Fox Outfitters in downtown Fenton.

 If you’re looking to try a new sport or want to add new gear to your equipment for spring, check out their new line of fly fishing rods and reels by Lamson, made in the U.S.

 To add a spring touch to your wardrobe, look at quarter-zip sweaters

by Patagonia in colorful spring palettes. Other spring apparel is arriving daily, including running jackets by Outdoor Research. “It’s great active wear for spring because it’s super durable and blocks the wind,” Anderson said.

 If you’re in need of new sunglasses, check out the affordable Goodr line of sunglasses that are polarized, non-slip, in a variety of colors and shapes. “They’re a really good value at $25,” Anderson said.

 To keep your feet warm and dry on soggy spring runs, pick up a few pairs of Swiftwick Socks, featuring super dense weaving and claiming to be “the quickest dry in the industry.” For a guarantee of no holes in your socks, grab a pair of Darn Tough Socks that are guaranteed for life.

 In need of new running shoes? New athletic and hiking shoes are arriving all the time with popular brands like Hoka One One, and On running shoes.

Glik’s of Fenton

 You can’t help put get in the spring spirit when you walk into Glik’s of Fenton. They’ve got dozens of sandal styles and are especially excited to now be carrying the Birkenstock brand — a retro look from the 1960s and ’70s.

 For summer comfort and fashionable looks on your feet, check out the Roxie and Reef brands.

 Get your athletic look on with new products in the Champion line, from hoodies and tees to other athleisure wear.

 For a more feminine, sporty look, watch for new denim skirts to be arriving soon, as well as colorful, comfortable rompers in all the new spring colors.

 “Everyone’s getting ready for spring break,” said Kim Christopher, senior assistant manager.

BLUMZ of Holly

 Nothing says spring like blooming spring flowers or cut floral arrangements in dazzling pinks, oranges and yellows.

 BLUMZ of Holly is filled with beautiful flowers, which can bring a touch of spring into your home with cut florals in a vase.

 If you’re looking for just the right gift for a spring occasion like Mother’s Day or special occasion birthdays or anniversaries, check out their fun and funky gift lines, hand-crafted chocolate truffles and more.

The Stain Shop

in Linden

 It’s never too early to start shopping for deck products to brighten or re-fresh your outdoor spaces.

 “We’re already getting calls from people, as soon as there’s a nice day or the sun warms things up a bit,” said Steve James, co-owner.

  New at The Stain Shop this year is Deck Fix, a bonding primer and sealer that goes over a painted deck and presents a fresh new surface for a topcoat. “Your new paint won’t lift off or peel off,” James said.

 Looking for new paint colors for your deck? Check out Armstrong-Clark wood stains in black walnut and natural oak.

 If you have a cedar or log home, James suggests you try Outlast Q8 Log Oil, “It’s an EPA-registered wood preservative,” James said. “It can immediately be used on decks or logs.”

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