Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring has (almost) sprung!

It is mostly spring in Wisconsin. The calendar says it is. The satellite views comparing snow cover from last year to this year says we are crazy and not it is NOT spring yet. But, all the signs are there.

As my children are desperate to get outside and shed their winter trappings, the ground begins to thaw, the mud becomes part of the outdoor experience, and it is time to take the little ones out and about in the yard to see all the signs that point to warmer weather.

We are blessed to be out in suburbia (on the edge - there are farm fields less than 1/2 mile from here!). There is abundant wildlife: coyotes, racoons, rabbits, regular "yard birds", the occassional hawk, ducks, LOTS of geese, the sound of the sandhill cranes near the lakes and in the wentlands, and of course, our least favorite spring visitor - the skunk (the skunk makes us shut up the house from around 10:15-11:15 almost every. single. night. Stinky!!! Even without spraying!).

Today, we saw lots of things. The pussy willows have arrived for the season:

The little ones loved how soft and fuzzy they feel on their fingers and faces. I remember being enchanted with them when I was a child as well.

Our fall flowers have begun to show themselves already. The sedum are usually ready and waiting when the snow melts.

The lilies are coming up and it looks like the squirrels have added in a couple more stolen tulips from the neighbor's house.

Welcome Robin is here, there, and everywhere right now. Just a couple of weeks ago, we saw our very first one of the season (perhaps one that wintered over?). But now they are hanging around and quite intent on making more robins!  There were actually 3 robins in this group, but they did not stay still while in a group (how rude of them to not cooperate!).

Summer flowers coming up in the flower bed on the backside of the house. This part of the  house catches sun until around 2ish, so the house gets warm and that translates into these flowers coming out to play (I noticed that the ones in the unprotected bed out in the front yard are not out yet - in fact, there is still ice & snow in the nearby shade!).

Not a spring thing, but it is always fun to point out fun things on the trees.

Moss on the ground near the shed - I do believe the older 2 have buried a dragon fly or 2 here, hence the stone markers.

Sadly, the asparagus has not yet shown up...I am watching for those in the back flower bed! While we have a good sized yard (we have not always), one can always look for signs of spring in their own tiny yards. The signs are there, or at the park, or where ever you can get to outside. Don't let being in the city stop you. Go to your local park and see what you can find. You might be surprised.

Taking a tour of ones yard to watch for the changes is always interesting.

We will be checking on these flowers daily to see when they bloom. The buds are there and just waiting for the right moment to open. They are so tiny, but it is so exciting to see the first flowers in our yard each year!  Give a short nature walk a try around your yard to see what you can see!


  1. of course you're going to link this up with the nature study monday linky, right?! ;) do that here.