Spring is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s a time when everything seems to wake up from the long sleep of the cold winter. Plants and animals all resume higher levels of activity.
This includes animals who were hibernating or dormant throughout the winter such as reptiles and amphibians starting to move around more and continue their lives in search of food or mates. Even animals who were active all winter such as squirrels and birds start changing their activities in the spring. In the animal world, spring is a time when many eggs hatch and babies are born. There is much new animal life to observe.
Plant activity also changes. The plants start responding to the warmer temperatures and longer day length too. Buds on trees that were patiently waiting all winter to open begin opening. The grasses start getting green again. And, flowers found only in the springtime start blooming. Spring is amazing!
One of the best ways to observe the excitement of spring is to choose a particular area near where you live or in one of your favorite natural areas and visit that place as frequently as possible. It will be your special place for spring. Your special place can be large or small depending on what works for you. Try to visit your special place at least once a week. If you can visit more frequently than that, that’s great. If you can’t quite do every week, just get there as often as you can. Take a journal or notebook along with you and make a list of all the different plants and animals you observe. You don’t need to know the names of everything you’re seeing. You can even make up new names if that’s helpful for you remembering. Just try to make as many observations as you can. You will notice that your special place changes from day to day or week to week as different flowers bloom and different animals move through the space. Prepare to be amazed!
Written by: Jane Litwiller, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College
Photos by: Jane Litwiller, Spring 2015