Many see March 1st as the start of spring and with this in mind I set to thinking about what signs there are that spring is here ... I looked out of the window and saw sleet falling at about an angle of 45º!! So winter may not quite be done with us yet but there are plenty of signs that we are moving out of winter and into spring:
7 Signs of Spring in Normandy
1.Wild flowersWe have had the snowdrops and catkins for a while but I do tend to think of these as first appearing in winter. Now we can add all sorts of flowers to the list, noticeably primroses which flourish in our local road verges. I have even seen one very early cowslip but as it was on the side of a very bendy stretch of road I wasn't going to stop to get a picture so you will have to just believe me and settle for crocuses in the play area instead:
It will be a while before the wild garlic is in flower but the leaves are peeping through now and I managed to forage enough to make one of my all time favourite risottos, leek and wild garlic.
2. Bickering Birds!The sparrows in the hedge behind the chicken and duck pens are obviously in search of mates and there is much squabbling going on. I've also noticed some insulation material that has been pulled out from the old bakery, no doubt destined for a particularly warm nest this year. Our hens are also well and truly laying and gave us 9 eggs today. Omelette anyone?
3. Saari is moultingSaari is a Husky x German Shepherd and has a VERY THICK winter coat. Over the last few days I have noticed considerably more hairs gathering in all sorts of places and when she shakes there is the unmistakeable haze of loose hairs characteristic of moult season.
4. Longer Day LengthThe boys and I no longer need a torch to find the car when we head off on the early school run and a couple of times I have almost missed picking them up in the evening as it does not get dark until much later now.
5. Warmer WeatherWith sleet falling at 45º? Fair point, but actually it is gradually getting warmer. When the sun does come out the temperature creeps up several degrees and today I had no need for a coat when gardening. Walking into the polytunnel is lovely as it is even warmer in there and I am getting regular afternoon temperatures of 15-20ºC. Seeds are germinating but then also:
6. Weeds and Grass are growing.Grass I am quite happy with and it would be lovely to get the pigs out in the fields again but weeds are a different issue. Oh well, at least the pigs get to eat the weeds. I have also seen some elder leaves just out and the leaves on our Japanese roses won't be long. And look what's popping up in the veg patch. It'll be fresh rhubarb crumble time soon.
7. LambsDay by day there are more and more lambs in the fields. We don't do lambing ourselves but we are on the lookout for some ewes and lambs. We thought we'd found some earlier this week but some-one else got there first. Bother - I do love seeing lambs here.
I won't say we have totally finished with winter yet but things do definitely have an feel of spring to them here in Normandy. Have you seen many signs of spring yet or are you still under a blanket of snow?
And if you fancy seeing some of these signs of spring for yourself we have availability through March. Come and marvel at the primroses, count lambs and maybe I'll even make you a rhubarb crumble!
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