A burst of color in the garden, the sound of the returning cardinals' song, and feel of a breeze that blow warm instead of cold, are all signs of spring. But nothing jolts the system like the return to daylight saving time, which takes place this weekend.

Turn your clocks an hour ahead when you go to bed Saturday night. And while you may lose an hour of sleep, come 6 a.m. Sunday it will still be dark out. On the plus side — and it's a big plus as far as most are concerned — sunset won't take place until 6:47 p.m.

That extra hour of daylight is welcomed by many, as it provides extra time outdoors, whether for baseball practice or lawn cleanup.

If you think it's a bit early to be moving the clocks ahead, it may be because the current second-Sunday-in-March transition to DST dates back only to 2007 when Congress decided make the change two weeks earlier in the year as a means of conserving energy. The theory is that more people are active — and thus need light — during the latter part of the day than in the early-morning hours.

During a normal winter this might be a bit early to start thinking of those outdoor activities. Not this year, however.

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