Spring has officially sprung, and if you look to nature, the signs of spring are all around us.
Also known as the Vernal Equinox, March 20 marks the first day of spring for the Northern Hemisphere (the first day of fall for the Southern Hemisphere), and is a day when there is equal amount of night and day. Plus, the amount of daylight will increase with each passing day!
From birds and butterflies to skunks, here are five signs of spring you can spot when you’re on your next nature walk.
Red-Winged Black Birds
Red-winged black birds are one of the first birds to arrive in spring, staking out their territory early, and defending it with vigour. You can spot them by the bright red and yellow bands of colour on their wings. They also might chase you if you get too close!
Male robins arrive weeks before their female companions. As the females arrive, the males begin to sign and the mating and territory rituals begin.
Mourning Cloak Butterfly aka The Harbinger of Spring
Unlike most butterflies, the Mourning Cloak does not migrate South during the winter. Instead, they survive the frigid temperatures through “cryo-preservation”, which prevent their bodies from freezing. In the spring, they awaken, and the males can be spotted with their wings spread open wide in the sun to attract females.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadesis) is a medicinal plant native to North America and a wildflower first spotted in woody areas. Its sap is poisonous, but the rest of the plant can be used in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema. (Pictured above)
Skunks sleep through most of winter and awaken in February and March as they seek a mate. They can be found roaming around at night, where they often meet their demise on city streets.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of spring!