PORTLAND Signs of spring are showing up in the form or budding and blooming flowers, shrubs and trees. And sunshine in the forecast has rain-weary people smiling.

In Washington Park, flowers are popping up all over. Daffodils are up and blooming, and rhododendrons and camellias are flowering.

It s very hopeful after the long gray days and rain, and you start to see these rhodies in bloom and the plum and cherry ... everywhere you look, there are signs of new life and it s very wonderful, said Washington Park walker Kristin Guest.

Guest walked with her sister, as they often do. Today they were not rained on. The sun even came out at times.

Lifts our spirits that s for sure -- makes us look forward to summer. We enjoy hiking in sunshine more than in rain but we do it in rain, too, said Guest's sister, Gretchen Guyot.

Psychologist Thomas Joseph Doherty, Psy.D. specializes in Ecophychology, teaching graduate courses at Lewis and Clark College. He says our environment plays a big role in the health of our bodies and minds.

We re just like the plants and the animals: we re attentive to the increased amount of sunlight just like any other being. And we re noticing that change after the quietude and darkness of winter, said Doherty.

KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino is forecasting a few sunny days in a row and the warmest temperatures of the year this week. Spring officially begins March 20th.

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