As I ventured out on my sunrise walk this morning, I felt a flutter of excitement as I spotted my very first snowdrops in the woods. They were rather droopy, but I didn’t care as I knew that we had turned a corner and spring was on its way. As I took off across the fields I started to think about the other signs of spring approaching and wondered if there were things that I had passed on my walks and perhaps never noticed.
So, as part of my “education of nature” goal for 2021, here are my findings of the first signs of spring!
#1 – Snowdrops
I’ve already mentioned snowdrops what flower between January and March, but I never knew they name translates to “milk flower of the snow”. You can find them mainly in lightly shaded woods.
#2 – Dawn chorus
I never really noticed that the birds really get going with morning melodies as spring approaches. They noisiest birds are skylarks, song thrushes, robins and blackbirds as they seek to attract mates.
#3 – Lesser celandine
These bright yellow stars at the edge of the woodland and often found in hedgerows tend to flower from February to late April. (I always thought these were small daffodils – now I know!). I really should brush up on my plants (note for future ed slot!).
#4 – Daffodils
Talking of daffodils, these are one of the first signs that spring is underway. I love the smell of daffodils and their bright joyful flowers are enough to brighten up any garden. The flower February to early April.
#5 – Great crested grebes
Apparently, from mid-February, park lakes and reservoirs in the UK become aquatic stages for the strings and most elegant avian courtship as the two birds mimic each other's movements. I’ve never seen this before so popped onto YouTube and it’s quite fascinating to watch. I will certainly keep an eye out for this ritual on my travels. Have you ever witnessed such a dance?
#6 – Bumblebees
I knew that bees are awoken by the warmth of the sun during early March, but I never knew that there are 24 different species of bumblebees. Apparently, one colony can hold up to 400 bees! (note to self, perhaps add “bees” to your learning list.
#7 – Cherry blossom
My favourite! Don’t you just love seeing an orchard or even a street full of cherry trees in blossom? The brief blossoming of rowan, wild cherry and hawthorn is a magical spectacle, wreathed in ancient folklore. Japan is the best place to enjoy the pink and white eruption of the lovely prunus, but you don’t have to venture far to see a dramatic display in the UK.
I thought that lambs being born were also a sign of spring, but apparently, this happens throughout the year nowadays. What other signs of spring do you know of? Please share in the comments below. See you next week!