Cherry Blossoms

Might Be a No-Show

* The winter that just won't quit is threatening one of Washington's spring rituals.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is set to start March 22, but there might not be cherry blossoms in bloom.

"The severe cold winter that we've had has delayed the trees and the start of blooming," said Gentry Davis, who works for the National Park Service. Officials will predict Monday when the peak blooming time for the trees will be.

The 3,000 Japanese cherry trees were planted around the Potomac River's Tidal Basin in 1912. Since then the arrival of the pink and white blossoms has signaled the arrival of spring in Washington.

Skiers: Beware the Colored Snow

* When you go skiing, don't forget the pooper-scooper.

Believe it or not, dog poop on the ski trails in Sun Valley, Idaho, is a big problem. Lots of cross-country skiers now bring their dogs with them. Courtesy Ski Patroller Cindy Hamlin picks up as many as 40 piles a day on a four-mile section of the trail.

In Blaine County, officials have put up signs reminding skiers that skiers who don't pick up after their pooches can be fined $300. The county even supplies skiers with "poop bags." So far this year, they've given out about 3,500 of them.

Here's the problem: Some people have been filling the bags and then leaving them alongside the trails, as if they expect a garbage collector to pick it up.

-- From staff and wire reports

Cherry blossoms were in bloom in late March the past few years. They might not make it out so soon this year.