Something that can always lift the spirits, especially after the difficult couple of years that we have had, is being in nature. The natural world has the ability to bring us both joy and peace – whether you like to have art in your home that reminds of of natures beauty, like this wildlife sculpture by www.gillparker.com or like to get out for a walk in the countryside or the woods and see what sights, sounds and smells you encounter.
Spring is tentatively now starting to arrive, and this is a brilliant time of the year to be on the look out for all of the changes that are quickly happening outdoors. After the winter, it is good to go out for a walk at this time of year, as we see the joy and the optimism of the new life that is beginning all around us.
If you want to get out and explore for yourself, here are some of the signs of spring to look out for…
Daffodils – These jolly yellow flowers are the colour of the sunshine and always lift our spirits. At this time of year, the daffodils are just starting to bloom and there are lots of places that you can go to see them in all their glory.
Head to Cumbria to see the fields of golden daffodils that inspired Wordsworth to write his famous poem, or to Newent in Gloucestershire to walk the daffodil trail. Other flowers to look out for at this time of the year are lesser celandine, dog’s mercury, wood anemones and violets.
Frog spawn and Toad spawn – Frogs are just returning now to waters like garden ponds and still waters all around the countryside. Keep a look out for the large jelly-like clumps of spawn, which are the eggs that the tadpole will emerge from in a few weeks’ time. It may not even be a pond that you find it in, even deep puddles and ditches are great places to find it!
Trees – Trees are also coming back to life now, and the many trees all have different signs of this. Hazel will be one of the first to show signs of the spring – the catkins are what you will notice blowing in the wind. Many of the trees will have buds, which are lying in wait for the sunlight, when they will then emerge into new leaves. Get to know the different trees and walk near them regularly – you will be able to enjoy their progress as they start to burst with new life.
Birds – From February you may have noticed the birdsong has started to increase. This is the birds’ attracting mates. You will then start to notice throughout March, that many birds are gathering materials for nests. Put up nest boxes in your garden as you may attract a family of birds!