What are the first signs of spring? For most of us, spring brings us many of our favorite things: birds, flowers, butterflies, warmer weather, and more sunlight. Every year, I enjoy hearing what readers from different regions have to say!
Even if it’s still winter, look carefully for signs that spring is indeed on its way. They may be subtle in some areas, but the signs are there.
1. Birds are singing!
To me, my backyard birds are one of the best predictors. There is a weather proverb that states, “Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring,” and this appears to be true in the northern tier of the United States. Bluebirds do not come north until all chance of winter has passed and they are assured an ample food supply.
In early March, a chorus of birdsong fills the air as the migrating birds return. Warblers, sparrows, yellowthroad, and finch fill the air with song. You may hear the knock of woodpeckers, too! Even ducks start to return to our lakes. What new bird sounds do you hear?
2. Trees are budding
In late February, look for the buds on your trees. Some of the first trees to bud are the willows and silver maples, followed in early March with the red maples.
Another sign is the sap is flowing! Mmm … I love real maple syrup! The first to notice seem to be the squirrels who start poking around the trees looking for oozing sap.
3. Peepers are peeping
As early as February, we hear the spring peepers! These small inch-long frogs like wet areas so we know the ground thawing and the winter snow is melting. These tiny amphibians sing loudly, creating quite a chorus on an early morning walk!
Credit: Virginia Herpetological Society
4. Fresh, soft scents
Ever notice that entrancing smell of spring? The Earth is awakening and it does indeed smell more, well, earthy. With warmer weather, misty mornings and soft wet smells fill the air.
5. Potholes galore!
OK, let’s be real. I also know when spring is coming because I start feeling the bumps and holes on the road; the snow nicely covered any road imperfections for months. Now, my car is shuddering as it drives across never-ending potholes. Argh!
And more from our readers …
Some of our readers also have practical advice. Winter will end shortly after…
- you are inside your warm home and you hear the sound of icicles crashing from the gutters and roofs to the ground below,
- whenever you feel motivated to peel off the 3M plastic you so meticulously taped and blow dried tight to your windows!
- when your mailbox stops getting knocked over by the plow,
- when the kids lose a mitten and you don’t bother to replace it,
- and the first time you can drive with your car window rolled down—best feeling ever!
What are the first signs of spring in your neck of the woods? To comment, just type into the field below.