Get Outside: Your Guide to Soaking up Spring
Spring is springing, the birds are singing, and Blue Bells will soon be ringing as they emerge from the earth; having finally kicked off its blanket of snow in the budding warmth. In the words of George Harrison, “It’s been a long cold lonely winter.” But here comes the sun.
This magical moment between ice and oppressive heat never lasts quite long enough, so get outside in nature and soak up spring today! How exactly does one soak up spring? I’m glad you asked.
Here’s your guide to soaking up spring:
- Listen for the birds. The songs you hear will depend on where you are in the country, but I’ve been enjoying the stylings of American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Cardinals.
- Sneak a peek up at the bare branches while you can. Without leaves for cover, you can enjoy an insider look at nature’s condominiums. See how many bird, squirrel, and insect nests you can spot before they’re hidden once again.
- Look for signs of new emerging life, like buds on trees and flowers beginning to poke out of the ground. It can be fascinating to return to the same blossoming beauties day after day to see them grow in real-time.
- Get low. It’s tempting to focus on the things at eye level, but stooping down to inspect the forest floor will reward you with a world of its own. Watch busy bugs travelling across the dirt, inspect moss, lichen, and fungi, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
- Look for animal tracks if there’s snow or mud on the ground. Squirrels and rabbits and racoons, oh my! Who might have taken this path before you?
- Consider picking up litter you see. As the snow melts, it leaves behind, well, the things people leave behind. Face masks, plastic fragments, cigarette butts—all of these things can harm wildlife and degrade the environment.
- Play a game of I Spy if you’re walking with family or friends. It’s a great way to notice all the fascinating details you might otherwise overlook, from knotholes, to mushrooms, to ducks, wildflowers, and more.
- Snap some photos on your camera or phone if you’re walking alone. This is another great way to notice the intricacies in trees, earth, waters, plants, and animals that can be missed in a quick glance. Plus, you’ll have some memories from your spring day.
When you finish your walk, it’s time to reflect. Think about and appreciate all that you’ve seen. Getting out in the natural world is great for our physical and mental health, and in Canada, we’re fortunate to have so much to explore. That’s why we have a privilege and a duty to take care of the spaces that give us so much to love.
March Break may be ending and the little ones may be heading back to school, but that doesn’t mean that learning things at home has to stop. Check out our resources for Nature HomeSchool to keep learning about nature.