Signs of Spring
Each year in the UK, the cold grey months of winter seem to last forever. Try as you might, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the trees were ever flush with greenery or that you could ever leave the house without a coat on. But the seasons are turning and the first few days of real warm weather have arrived here. There are plenty of heralds of spring in the UK, vibrant little signals to each of us not to give up, that warmth is to come. Some have already passed us by this year but others are still to come. These are just a few to look out for:
A long cold winter is not all bad as milder ones can wreak havoc with butterfly hibernation patterns. Our late spring this year may in fact be something of a blessing for the butterfly populations, who have not risked appearing too early in the season. Another thing to celebrate this year is the 50th anniversary of the charity Butterfly Conservation. Keep an eye out for the flash of the ubiquitous Orange Tip and savour that first moment when one flutters by, erratic yet somehow serenely elegant. In May, you can expect to see: Adonis Blue, Brimstone, Comma, Peacock, Marsh and Peal-bordered Fritillary, Swallowtail, and Green-veined whites among many others.
Huge numbers of migratory birds arrive in the UK in spring, ready to celebrate the warmer weather. In April and May keep an especial eye out for swallows, swifts, cuckoos, nightingales and warblers. Easier to catch, and just as beautiful as watching the birds, is their song. It just takes a moment to sit quietly and listen to really appreciate that spring has arrived.
Crocuses (and other spring flowers)
Snowdrops, crocuses, wood anemones, and daffodils are some of the first harbingers and although they may have already come and gone this year, I could not help but add them to this list. The bright, elongated-tulip head of a crocus, bobbing brightly in the breeze has to be one of my favourite sights. They are so bright they seem to glow in the sun and defy all cold and rain.
Ducklings, rabbits, and coots are just some of the little ones you may see around in the spring. Head out to wilder areas and fox, fallow deer, and rabbits are all around too. Spring is an incredible time for new life and celebration and the babies you see around are the epitome of this. Of course, keeping a little distance may be wise, especially from cygnets and goslings. As gorgeous as these little creatures are, their mothers think the same and may not be too happy if you wander too close!