Spring is a great time to get outdoors and start exploring. The days are getting longer, are generally lighter, and a bit warmer too, and plants and wildlife are starting to come to life again after the winter months. So find somewhere outdoors to head out to for a spring nature walk and see what you can spot along the way. It doesn't have to be a big nature reserve although it can be if you want, a small park area or rough grassland or water are good places to go too. Nature is all around you even in local built up areas too.
The official start to spring is seen by many as March 21st, which is the vernal equinox, also sometimes called the spring equinox. However depending on the weather and where you live in the country,(if you are in the UK) you may want to head out for your spring walk a bit earlier or later than this. Maybe you could even do a couple of spring walks one in earlier spring and one later and see what different things you see each time.
Here are some suggestions of things to look out for.
|Snowdrops- You are only likely to see these on an earlier spring walk as they flower from January to March. They are very hardy plants that don't mind the weather when it's still cold. Look out for them in slightly shaded areas, in amongst the trees.|
|Crocuses- Depending on the variety crocuses flower between February and April. A small delicate cup shaped flower, they are often seen in varying shades of purple or yellow,and sometimes white. Their leaves are like sprigs of grass with a white stripe up the centre of them.
Interesting fact - One of the autumn flowering crocus, crocus sativus is where the spice saffron is obtained from. It is obtained from the stigma, this is the central part of the flower which is covered in a sticky substance which pollen sticks to.
|Bumble bees - As spring starts to arrive and days warm up, the large queen bumble bees that hibernated over the winter start to emerge, and can be seen flying around the flowers.
As the first frosts appeared in Autumn these young newly mated queen bumble bees found a place to hibernate for the winter. While the old queen, her workers and her drones all died.
Interesting fact - If bumble bees use their sting, they don't lose it and die like their cousin the honey bee.
|Daffodils - Always a sign that it's getting warmer as the daffodils come into bloom. They are from the narcissi family.|
|Baby Animals - Goats with their kids, sheep with their lambs, ducklings, chicks, baby birds etc...
Spring is a time when more food becomes available again and temperatures become suitable for rearing young.
|Frog Spawn - Look out for the various stages of frog development. Starting off with the frog spawn which is the name for the frogs clumps of eggs. Then moving onto tadpoles, which gradually grow legs to develop into frogs. The whole process takes about 12 weeks, depending on things like temperature.|