Springtime is such a changeable season don’t you think? By the end of February it felt like spring had arrived… only for it to be put on hold with another couple of weeks full of rain, wind and hailstones! The hardy little snowdrops being the only sign of life as I waited patiently (or maybe not!) for the daffodils to open…
I love spring and the ‘new beginnings’ it inspires, so when I was asked to take part in an online ‘virtual retreat’ entitled “Celebrating Spring” I figured I was in my element… my ‘part’ however, was a presentation on foraging – and the weather wasn’t playing fair! Trying to collect video footage of edible plants that aren’t yet growing, whilst storms batter most of the UK, proved to be quite a challenge.
But storms don’t last forever of course, and as if on cue the sunshine returned just in time for the spring equinox and all of a sudden nature is awake! The hedgerows are filling, the first bumble bees appear… carpets of wild garlic, lesser celandines and haircap moss cover riverbanks and woodland. The bluebells are there too – just waiting their turn to bloom. Colts Foot and Dandelions provide a vital source of food for bees and butterflies during these early months when there’s little else to be found, and flowering currants bring a splash of colour to parks and gardens.
Trees are bursting into leaf… first the hawthorn and elder… closely followed by sycamore and horse chestnut… while the young oaks and beech are still clinging onto last years leaves, golden and crisp.
The dawn chorus is building momentum as the mating season arrives, my garden is a permanent hive of activity now and I think we may have at least a couple of nests. New birds are arriving everyday after spending the winter in warmer lands… and on the 31st March I heard my first chiffchaff of the year. This was the first bird song I learnt to recognise and it stuck in my head after a very young Leigh (the son!) spent most of a woodland walk singing “chiff chaff” over and over again in the same tones. It’s such a simple yet tuneful and flute-like call, and I love to hear because it always brings a smile to my face.
As we head into April, the temperatures may have dropped again but there is still so much new life emerging… I’ve always been a nature geek but I’m loving just how much more there is to discover just by spending a few minutes everyday ‘noticing’ and I hope you’re enjoying my photos and ramblings!
If you’re local to Huddersfield or Barnsley and would like to enhance your own connection to nature, at the same time as finding more peace and clarity of mind, then look out for my “Nature for Well-Being Walks” coming soon! You can follow us by email below to be the first to receive full details, or find us on social media @PositiveEarthUK.
Until next time…