It is almost summer but I want to tell how much I enjoy spring here at Watts Tree Farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. After a long cold winter it is nice to get out and see the forest coming back to life. Of course in a blog I can only show you a few photographs of the spring season. As things begin to return to, or grow in, the forest after a long rest or a long flight back from some warmer place the promise of a new season of life is seen and felt. Unfortunately, I can not convey the sounds and even the smell of the forest this time of year. But it is a beautiful time of year and one that fills you with hope and just makes you feel good about the coming summer months.
Just getting out to go for a walk this time of year seems so beautiful. Life is beginning a new season of growth. The leaves are not even out on the trees yet but you can feel the warmth of the sun and you know things are going to change every day. Things seem to change more rapidly this time of year than at any other. One of the earliest butterflies to appear in the spring is the Mourning Cloak. I hadn’t seen one in years so I was pretty excited to see this one. They seem to be more of a forest butterfly rather than a garden butterfly.
Many of the forest flowers seem to bloom early in the spring. Some are in bloom before the leaves are fully out on the trees. I guess this is to take advantage of the warm sun before they are covered by the shade of the trees later in the spring. There are a lot of woodland flowers that bloom early in the season. Some are in the more open areas, like purple violets and wild strawberries. Others grow where there is more shade. One of my favorites for aroma is the May Flower. Its small white or pale pink flowers give off one of the most beautiful scents. As I was saying earlier, I can show you a photograph but I can not send you the aroma. You’ll have to come for a visit when the May flowers are in bloom if you want to experience the fragrance of these delicate flowers. We only have tiny patch of them in our woodlot. I transplanted a few of them many years ago and they are established now but only in one spot.
Even the new ferns as they unfurl are nice to see. When the conditions are right they can grow very quickly. One of the most popular late spring flowers to bloom in PEI is the Lady Slipper. The Lady Slipper is the Provincial flower of PEI and is seen on many craft items in shops across the “Island.” Unfortunately it blooms just a little too early for most of the tourists to see them first hand.Along with the return of the earliest butterflies and the blooming spring flowers are the sights and sounds of wildlife. The migratory birds begin to be seen in the tree tops and as soon as the leaves are fully out most of the birds will have returned for another nesting season. You can’t blame them for wanting to come to PEI to raise their young. Some of the mammals will also become more active and search for a place to raise their young. I have written about the use of nest boxes in a previous blog. This year I was fortunate to get a photo of a flying squirrel using one of my nest boxes as “home”. Flying squirrels are out only at night so they are not often seen. Most people probably do not even know we have them in PEI. Although they are called “flying” squirrels they don’t actually fly. They do have an extra layer of skin that is attached from their front legs to their back legs. When they jump they spread this skin and glide easier from tree to tree.
There is so much to see, hear, feel and smell in the Spring. It is one of my favorite times of the year.
Until next time, keep safe and well.
***Click on any photo to get a larger image***