Spring Travels

In a new landscape I find the seasons are different. Back “down South” the daffodils would be out by the city walls by the last week in February. I would watch the green spikes emerging from the bus as it passed and await their blooms as the key moment when winter gave way to spring.

Photo credit Fiona Phillips 24 March 2023 – Blossom by the canal

We are now in the last week in March, the daffodils are out here in full force, a bank of them backlit by early morning sun when we walked past the train station yesterday. Along the edge of the golf course, too, the fabled golden host glowing against still-bare trees.

This week the blossom is emerging, blackthorn and flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum). Grape hyacinth are out in the garden and the first bumblebee queens have emerged, on the prowl for nest sites. Three years ago bumblebee queens were humming about on a day trip to London on my birthday in mid-February.

Photo credit Fiona Phillips 24 March 2023 – Flowering Currant

These events have coincided with the spring equinox, which I will use as my benchmark for the “start of spring” when we reach the new calendar year.

So how fast does spring travel? According to this article from 2015 at around 2 miles per hour. I can visualise a time lapse map of the country, greening and blossoming as the season unfolds! I am now wondering if you could walk with the season as it unfolds (apparently from South West to North East).

This year not only are we in a new landscape but we also have a new garden. The soil here is heavier than the chalk uplands where I’ve lived for most of the past forty years. We have begun the process of clearing the ground of tenacious ivy (while leaving some because it is beneficial for many creatures) and are waiting to see what emerges as the ground warms in the coming weeks. I have planted some shrubs which will hopefully give blossom and berries for the birds and bees in coming years, and set some wildflower seeds. I’m also creating a rock pile and a wood pile for the creepy crawlies.

All part of seeking to create a wildlife friendly corner in these times of habitat depletion in our #wildisles !

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