We may have had a topsy-turvy winter, warm and wet one day then cold and windy the next, but Mother Nature is not one to let that stand in her way. There’s no denying that spring is waiting just around the corner. With flowers erupting through the woodland floor and the dawn chorus building from the tree tops, spring is starting to take hold. Spring is the season when nature bursts back into life in an explosion of sight, sound and colour. What better invitation to get out and explore?
There’s something about spring that just lifts our mood and injects new hope. There’s no wonder it has such strong associations with new beginnings as we clean the house, clear out our clutter and begin making plans for the year ahead. But don’t get so bogged down in your household sprucing that you miss the wonders happening right outside your front door.
Spring is the ideal time to enjoy a countryside walk, as the days get longer and just a little warmer. Find some time to take in all the sights, sounds and smells around you as nature springs back to life after its winter slow down. Here are just a few of the delights that await…
A Chorus of Song
Bird song reaches a peak during spring, so get out and enjoy this treat for the ears. Resident birds – such as blackbirds, great tits, robins and song thrushes – are already singing loud and proud to claim their territories. As spring moves forward, migrant birds return and the chorus grows in volume and diversity. And don’t forget the unmistakeable herald of spring, the cuckoo. For many, its instantly recognisable call is the definitive seasonal sound.
A Carpet of Colour
For woodland flowers, spring is the pinnacle of the year. Before the leaves on the trees close out the light on the woodland soil, wildflowers grab the opportunity to grow, flower and breed. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is all about bluebells. Bluebells do put on an impressive display later in the season, but before then look out for yellow celandines, delicate white wood anemones and cheerful primroses.
A Bouquet of Scent
Blossom is arguably one of the prettiest heralds of spring, painting a wonderful impression in towns, cities and countryside alike. Blooming clusters of tiny flowers, fill the branches of hawthorn, blackthorn and fruit trees (such as cherries, plums and apples), but it can be short-lived so get your fill while you can. Blossom is a classic sign of hope, giving much needed early nectar for insects as well as the promise of a harvest to come. And it’s not just the trees filling our nostrils, wild garlic gives an unmistakeable woodland odour – an acquired taste, but one of my favourites.
A Wild Performance
The animal kingdom is not to be outdone by plants and flowers in the seasonal displays. There are wildlife spectacles happening all around. In open fields brown hares can be seen in boxing courtship battles – giving us the saying Mad as a March Hare, on lakes great-crested grebes perform spectacular courtship dances, ponds are filled with the black-spotted jelly mass of frog and toad spawn whilst the early butterflies emerge in grassland, giving a welcome splash of colour.
19 March 2016