Get into the Spirit of Spring

Trout lily

Welcome Spring!

March 20 is the first day of spring. We’re certainly not wishing the wonderful season of winter away, but spring is an exciting time in the Credit River Watershed and we’re ready to welcome it!

Whether it’s new buds in your garden or sleepy emerging wildlife, there’s so much to look forward to in spring.

In the Garden

There’s no denying that plant blooms can bring an instant smile. Here are some native plants to look out for as warmer temperatures arrive:

Small wooden structure surrounded by a garden.
Wild columbine is a beautiful splash of colour.

These native plants thrive in various environments and are a great way to add colour to your yard. Learn more about the right time to plant trees, seeds and grasses in your garden.

On the Trails

Close-up of the bottom of a person’s boot on a trail.
We have over 60 kilometres of trails at our parks.

Spring ephemerals are beautiful flowers, but aren’t around for long. These short-lived plants grow only in spring and die before summer. First, they grow leaves, then when they capture enough energy from the sun, they produce delicate flowers. Some species include:

  • Trout lilies
  • Bleeding hearts
  • Spring beauties
  • Dutchman’s breeches
Small flowers attached to a long stem on a forest floor.
The common name Dutchman’s breeches comes from their white flowers that look like white breeches.

Silver Creek and Limehouse Conservation Area are known for their spectacular patches of spring ephemerals. Learn more about spring ephemerals.

In the Trees

Buds on a thin branch tree.
The buds of a native sugar maple tree.

Trees are also a great indicator that spring has arrived. Deciduous trees are trees that lose their leaves. These trees will grow buds they formed last year as the warmer weather stays more consistent. Growing plants are good news for hungry insects. Did you know that a single large tree can be home to thousands of bugs? That’s one busy apartment! Bees, butterflies, and flies are some of the earliest insects you will see in spring.

On the Feeder

The sound of birds chirping and the sight of them gliding from tree to tree is another sure sign of spring. A few species that you can expect to see during the spring migration are red-winged blackbirds, rose-breasted grosbeak and broad-winged hawks.

Bird perched on a branch.
This is a male rose-breasted grosbeak. Females are brown and heavily streaked, flashing yellowish on the underside of their wings.

Birds are tired after a long trip home to the Credit River Watershed. You can help birds settle back by cleaning out winter debris from bird feeders, cleaning out bird baths and replenishing the water once a week and stocking up on bird seed (like safflower seeds, mealworms and suet). A friendly reminder to always place bird feeders and bath less than one metre from windows in order to avoid collisions. Learn more about bird-safe windows.

Update: Cases of avian influenza virus (AIV) have been found in southern Ontario. Please exercise caution around sick and dead birds and follow the Government of Canada guidelines around bird feeders. Learn more in our public service announcement.

What’s your favourite thing about spring? What do you do to prepare for this exciting season? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

By Kimberley Laird, Associate, Marketing and Communications

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