We’re almost at the end of January, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be longing for the arrival of the lighter nights, and if you’re a gardener or walker, the first sure signs that spring is on its way. You might look outside and see bare tree branches and dead leaves on the lawn, but in the next few months, you’ll start to see that spring is just around the corner. Here are the first signs that warmer days are approaching;
Snowdrops, daffodils, and crocuses appear
When these flowers start blooming, you know that spring is on its way. Snowdrops and Primroses usually make an appearance first, adding a pretty splash of white and yellow to the landscape.
Leaves appear on the trees
The Hazel and Elder trees are usually the first trees to get their leaves. The Hazel’s yellow buds and the dark red buds on the Elder burst open to reveal new leaves and a signal that spring is coming.
You’ll smell wild garlic in the woods
If you go on a woodland walk in March, you’ll smell the strong aroma of ramsons, better known as wild garlic. Its green foliage makes way for white flowers in April, and it’s most often found near rivers. Wild garlic is also safe to eat.
Bees make an appearance
The first Queen bees tend to emerge on the first warm days in spring, followed by the mining bees who exit their underground cells. You’ll also notice the first butterflies who are attracted by the newly blossomed flowers.
Frogs mate from January onwards, and if you have a pond, you’ll notice the tiny black eggs surrounded by the protective frogspawn. The frogspawn protects the eggs from would-be predators.
Birds come and go, and sing!
Migrant birds leave to go to Scandinavia or Eastern Europe, and other birds arrive on our shores, including martins and wheatears in March, followed by swallows, swifts, cuckoos, nightingales and warblers in April and May.
You’ll notice them building their nest, which takes them a few days and is specific to their species, and you’ll begin to hear the dawn chorus, where birds sing to signal that they’ve found a territory and they’re about to build a nest. Most species use twigs, moss, grass, mud, and feathers to make their comfy new abode.