It’s nearly spring and at work my nose is being rubbed in it. Cherry blossom season is THE spectacle of spring in Japan, and it’s something extraordinary – blankets of white (or light pink) as far as the eye can see, surrounding traditional Japanese castles and wooden houses.
This year winter seems to be dragging on, today’s snow being live proof. I’m desperately waiting, but that’s all there is to do: wait! This is the first year I have been able to really enjoy what nature the UK has to offer, and in preparation I’ve done lots of research! Here are some of the events that I am most excited about.
This is the Europe’s equivalent I would say of the cherry blossom takeover. Woods, or any wooded area (including cemeteries and gardens), turn bright purple as these lovely delicate flowers wake up from their winter underground. A true sign of spring, reminding you that sunnier days and green walks in the woods are on their way! They can be seen around the UK – why not take part of the British bluebell survey organised by the NHM.
British people LOVE their puffins – and who wouldn’t? They look like little clowns, or like they’re always sorry about something. Their genus name (Fratercula) stands for little brother, and even though they are seabirds, they are certainly not made for elegant landings. They spend their life out in the open ocean, coming to shore to breed. They usually excavate underground burrows, but can also be found nesting on rocky cliffs. They will hunt for sandeels to feed their chicks, which is quite an iconic image of these charismatic birds.
If you want to join in and observe them, some of the best places in the UK include:
– The Farne Islands off Northumberland.
– Firth of Forth just outside of Edinburgh.
– Shetland Islands off northern Scotland.
– Skomer Island off Pembrokeshire.
Or if you’re totally hooked, why not make a trip out to Newfoundland, to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, where 95% of the world’s Atlantic puffins go to breed. Apparently birders from around the world will visit us in the British Isles to see these feathered friars.
As the weather warms, animals come out of their nests to mate, and produce cute little reproductions of themselves. Not only are they a lovely sight to see, but the fact is that now you can actually see them! Parents will come out to search for food to feed their new youngsters, meaning that the odds of spotting said animals is highly increased.
Now I don’t necessarily want blue skies, as clouds are a lot more photogenic, but these dull grey days are seriously getting to me! On sunnier days, with a little bit of warmth, it’s lovely to take a trip out to the Cornish coast, one of the many islands dotted around, such as Lundy, the Hebrides, or the Isle of Wight! You might even try diving to see the underwater wildlife.
What about you?