Spring Firsts

Do you like spring? Have spring rituals? Engage in treasured activities or events? Take off your clothes and expose your white winter skin to the first warming rays of the sun?

If you just reread this last question and are now worried about getting subjected to my exhibitionist tendencies, fear not—they are nonexistent. But apparently this shedding of garments is a vernal custom some individuals engage in, as I recently learned from fellow birders. They were very surprised when the view through their binoculars revealed some 22 square feet of bare human dermis!

But nudity is not the reason spring has always been my favorite season, even if the sun’s caresses one one’s skin contribute to one’s well-being. Each year, the lengthening days, reawakening flora, and returning migratory birds are highly anticipated and warmly welcomed by my winter-weary psyche. In the depth of December I have trouble imagining that the trees will ever wear a green coat again, yet every April and May the miracle of seemingly lifeless branches sprouting buds, which unfurl into leaves, repeats itself. Shrubs and trees don colorful, fragrant blossoms, and verdant shoots push through the soil and morph into beautiful shapes and colors.

The woodlands are transformed into echo chambers by myriad tweeting and twittering voices, house wrens among them. Small in size, they compensate with large voice and character and never fail to entertain with their engaging and energetic ways. Once I hear and see my first one, I know that spring migration is really underway. More joy is brought by animal babies. Our neighborhood rabbits start their family planning early in the year and by March or April, their offspring are already out on their own. We didn’t see one this year until it was already a couple of weeks old, based on previous encounters with days-old bunnies (click here to read about the “bunny rescue” we had to engage in before covering the openings to our window wells). Near local ponds, geese similarly begin their broods promptly when conditions are favorable so that little goslings usually show off their downy cuteness by April.

Nature’s cycles, altered as they might be, never grow old, or fail to bring cheer, comfort, and a sense of hope, and it is in this spirit that I’m sharing some of this spring’s firsts.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover the cursor over it.

53 thoughts on “Spring Firsts

  1. So you’re saying some nature lovers bare more than their souls in expressing their appreciation.

    And how could I not spring into semantic action by pointing out that the following three are all the same word?

    The spring that means ‘to jump’;
    the spring that consists of water ‘jumping’ out of the ground;
    the spring season when life ‘jumps’ back up after winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Nature’s cycles …”

    That’s what it’s all about. It’s why we keep heading afield in good weather and bad. It’s why some of us haul a hundred pounds of optical equipment for a ten minute hike. It’s why shoe companies make big bucks. It’s why we sip coffee on a Wednesday morning and savor images of Springtime from the foot of Pike’s Peak.

    Summer, Autumn and Winter each hold their own type of charm for the naturalist, but there is just something about this time of renewal which compels us to return outdoors and observe our wondrous Spring.

    Thank you, Tanja, for a wonderful seasonal reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Wally, for your appreciative comment. I knew you shared my love for this special season from reading your amazing blog posts about your own springtime exploits. Spring’s vital force is contagious and imparts its energy to us so we can enjoy all the wonderful goings-on to the fullest.

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    • Ich danke Dir, liebe Ira. Ich stecke meine Nase ganz oft in Fliederbüsche, wenn ich an einem vorbeilaufe. Deren Geruch ist betörend. Ich hoffe, daß Euer Frühling Euch viel Schönes beschert.
      Herzlichen Gruß,
      Tanja

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  3. Hello Tanja,
    Lady Spring has arrived, and what glorious surprises she has brought! 🙂
    I cannot imagine how your birder friends must have felt when their binoculars revealed something other than birds, but it is wonderful to be reminded how the cycle of nature continues. The Geese family and family of goslings never fail to bring a smile even during the roughest times.
    Your post has lifted my spirits – thank you my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words, Takami, as always. Spring always holds many discoveries, some expected, others less. 🙂

      By the way, I found your comment in my spam folder. After what you told me, I have been checking it regularly. I have no idea why WP decided all of a sudden not to publish your comments, as you have been commenting on my posts for years. That’s really vexing.

      Wishing you nice spring discoveries as well.

      Warmly,
      Tanja

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello dear friend!
        I’m relieved to hear that you were able to find my comment! Likewise I don’t understand why WP has marked my comments as spam, but I have noticed it has happened on certain sites recently…

        Once again Happy Spring and thank you so much for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Uwe. I assume that means that summer is your favorite time of year. In some ways, I understand why, but the older I get, the more I dislike the heat, which seems to be getting worse each year. But I hope your summer will be a pleasant one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tanja, that’s true. I really like the Mediterranean region and summer instead of the German weather conditions.

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  4. Ach, wie niedlich! Die kleinen Baby-Enten sind einfach allerliebst und zaubern mir sofort ein Lächeln in das Gesicht. Liebe Tanja, dein Foto-Set zum Frühling ist einfach wunderbar. Wie schön und voller Wunder unsere Welt doch ist!
    Ich liebe diesen Planeten!
    Sonnige Frühlingsgrüße 🌞 🐞🌷 von Rosie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Was für schöne Frühlingsmomente liebe Tanja! Ich liebe Lupinen und beneide dich, daß du sie im Garten hast! Und so niedliche Gäste, herzallerliebst. Ja, der Frühling gibt Hoffnung und zeigt, daß das Leben immer wieder aufsteht 🙂 LG

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alles zum ersten Mal und das jedes Jahr wieder. Ist das Leben nicht schön. Wie kann man da nur Krieg führen müssen, wie krank manche Gehirne sind. Das Leben, die Natur genießen, so lange man kann.
    Schöne Bilder, ich freu mich drüber
    Maren

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ich danke Dir, liebe Maren. Ich empfinde das alles genauso wie Du. Aber irgendwo gibt es da in unserer DNA auch diese dunklen Abschnitte, und bisher haben wir sie noch nicht wie Ballast abwerfen können. Es ist schön davon zu träumen, daß das irgendwann mal gelingen könnte!
      Alles Gute,
      Tanja

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  7. What a lovely meditation on spring, Tanya. Summer’s the only season I sometimes dislike, thanks to our traditionally scorching heat and the ever-present threats of hurricanes. But spring, and autumn? I love changes, and both seasons have them in abundance.

    I especially enjoyed seeing the bunny, and had to laugh at the appropriateness of its appearance today. I just mentioned to a couple of readers a new favorite quotation from John Steinbeck: “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” Isn’t that just the truth? I do envy your lilacs. They were a favorite during my growing-up years, and I miss them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Linda. I share your preference for the change of seasons in spring and autumn and could skip right over summer. I also fondly remember lilacs from childhood. It’s not surprising that so many immigrant families planted lilac bushes as soon as they settled somewhere. I suspect lilacs might have been one of the most popular plants imported from Europe.
      I’m glad my bunny photo coincided with your favorite Steinbeck quote.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the song of the wren! That song, and the catbird really lift my spirits. Each year, wrens build in our bird house, My goodness, they are energetic builders and parents! Re lilacs: ours are almost 100 years old, and getting a bit thin, so we have just added smaller “boomerang lilacs”. Apparently they bloom in the spring, then in midsummer and fall (but the blooms aren’t as big). Truth or fiction? We’ll see!
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, spring never fails to raise the spirits. For me, the simple but glorious sound of a male (European) blackbird loudly singing his melodious song to announce his presence and deter other males from trespassing on his territory is enough to make me feel glad to be alive. As for nudity, there is clearly a time and place for it (🙂!) but not while out birding…imagine the pain to be endured when one’s unshod feet encounter an unexpected hedgehog (or maybe even a porcupine in your own country). Ouch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can relate to your love for European blackbirds, Mr. P. Their song is among the few I remember from my childhood and I’m always happy to hear them when I’m in Germany.
      The nudist alluded to was seen by birders but was not a birder himself. Maybe he was wearing boots to protect his feet from rocks, thorns, and quills, but I wasn’t there to check.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Danke für die guten Wünsche, lieber Alexander. Bei uns wird das Wochenende eher ruhig ausfallen. Und was die Küken angeht, bin ich immer wieder erstaunt, wie schnell sie selbstständig werden–auch wenn sie regelmäßig die Nähe von Mama und Papa suchen.
      Euch ein angenehmes Wochenende.
      Tanja

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