The first Signs of Spring

The elegant feature of spring’s arrival is once again awakening the slumbering colors of a winter saturated ground. The sun’s gravity has a way of pulling everyone outdoors to enjoy the first signs of spring. Even the benches at the park seem especially inviting with the spring sunshine glaring off of them. Instead of feeling the cold fingers of winter on our faces, it is a comfort to finally feel the warmth of an old friend at our backs. Here are a few signs to look for on the entrance of spring.

A sure sign of spring’s presence is the blooming of spring beauty, a wildflower that has light pink petals with pink veins. They are found in woods, thickets, and lawns. In early spring they creep up through the soil to absorb the bouncing sunlight. Other stunning flowers to look for are snowdrops which have three petals that look like drops of milk, marsh marigolds (kingcups) which have yellow petals and are visited by a great variety of insects for pollen, and freesias which have white or yellow funnel-shaped petals with an intoxicating sweet smell.

All across North America the return of migrating birds are a signal of spring. The return is typically abrupt, with countless birds arriving at night following a combination of celestial prompts and blissfully singing in sunny red maple trees the next day. The spring peeper produces an evening chorus from wet patches of ground in the woods. Peepers begin chanting so early in the spring they should be called late-winter peepers. The drumming of a woodpecker is used as a marking of territory and as a part of spring courtship. The hooting of barred owls creates a symphony to enjoy at dusk. Purple finches, white-breasted nuthatches, cardinals, song sparrows, and hummingbirds are just a few of the first birds of spring that long to serenade anyone who will listen.

Along with the sights of spring come the smells of spring. The spring produces a light golden aroma in late February to early March consisting of rain dampened soil and growing flora. The first hint of fragrance reaching the air is the perfect opportunity to relax and take everything in before the urge hits to do a little spring cleaning, which can be a long and tiresome task. The unique combination of the flowers, birds, and aroma of the earth is sure to sooth a worried soul.