SIGNS THAT SPRING HAS ARRIVED
Depending on the weather I usually start to notice signs of spring round about the middle of February at approximately the time of Saint Valentines day, which many years ago was thought by many people to be the start of spring. This is mainly due to the lengthening daylight hours which in turn encourages the birds to become not only more vocal but also more keen to pair up and start nesting. With the snowdrops in their climax, the little tete-tete daffodils also start to make an appearance, as do the crocuses. Seeing new-born lambs in the fields has always been something I’ve strongly associated as being symbolic of spring, and there surely can be no more tender more gentle a scene than that of a little day old lamb suckling from it’s ever protective mother. Another beautifull image and sign of spring is that of a mother hen with her little chicks.
At this time of the year when buds start appearing on the once bare tree branches of winter, we know this too as a not to be disputed sign of warmer days to come and as the season quickly progresses we watch with anticipation as the buds then start to open; now we really can feel spring is in the air. There’s also frog-spawning – a sure sign of spring if ever there was. This usually happens any time between the end of February and middle of March but again it can be slightly earlier or later depending on temperatures.
One thing that always makes me certain spring has arrived is seeing my first bumble-bee of the year, usually sometime in March and another is seeing the cattle brought back out into pasture after their long winter spent indoors in the barns. The reason cattle are brought indoors for the winter is because there is so lille grazing for them in the fields then, which brings us to another sign of spring which is the grass starting to grow and the sound of lawnmowers and smell of newly cut grass.
And Finally, I always know it’s spring whenever I light a fire in my hearth and get partly suffocated to death by smoke billowing down my chimney and circulating around my living room, all because the jackdaws have only gone and built a nest in my chimney.