11 ways to embrace spring

Spring is so invigorating. The season is naturally filled with signs of birth, renewal, and newness. You can't help but feel inspired to try something new. Change things up. Get outside. Start that new outdoor project. Here are eleven spring experiences to get your creativity flowing.

1. Take an early morning walk often. It's when wildlife is the most active. Birds are calling for their would-be mates and easy to spot in their brightly colored mating feathers. Tiny mammals are eating the fresh greens along side roads and pathways. And the crisp air feels so good. Walk at least weekly and notice the changes.

2. Look for old bird nests. Trees are just beginning to leaf out, so you have plenty of time to look for old birds nests. This will give you a jump on where birds will be nesting this year. They are so fun to watch when nesting. You can see them tirelessly rebuild their nest with umpteen trips, their beaks filled with grasses and leaves. Soon you will catch glimpses of babies and hear their peeps. In our area near the Ballard Locks there is an amazing Great Blue Heron rookery. You can see, hear and smell the adults as they refurbish their nests and feed their babies throughout the spring. Always an awe-inspiring site that will capture your interest for a long time.

3. Find a wetland. These nutrient rich areas are home to many critters. You can see herons, muskrats, marsh wrens, minks, weasels, ducks, geese and blackbirds to name a few. We have a favorite day-trip from the Seattle area just past the Canadian Border. It's the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. A springtime visit to this sanctuary is well worth the trip. Here is a link to an article I wrote for Parent Map that describes all the details and how to get there. Put it on your list of outings. You will love it. Article link: Winging it! A great family getawy that's for the birds

4. Explore a riverfront trail. Last week while I walked along a riverfront trail, I saw Canada geese, a pileated woodpecker, squirrels, hummingbirds and a snake...all within about an hour. River otters are common in rivers, too and I've seen them many times. I'm always amused to watch as they play, swim and tumble back and forth between the river bank and water. You can look for their burrows and holes in the river bank. The teaming life along a river can be quite captivating in a short amount of time. 

5. Notice trees, shrubs and flowers. Use a field guide to identify plants. Or take a picture and look up online. Changes are daily now and it's fun to track plant growth. Are they leafing out or still dormant. What shape and color are the leaves? Do they still have their winter fruit? Are flowers starting to bud or even bloom? Where are green shoots coming up? Try to name the flowers and trees.

6. Note how spring makes you feel. Do you feel more energy than usual? Take advantage of the inspiring energy to start something new or clear out some old stuff. This can be either internal or external. For example, start a new meditation or walking routine. Or, clear the clutter from an area of your house. The rhythm and energy of the spring season make new starts easier.

7. Listen and watch for birds. Carry a small field guide with you to identify the birds you see and hear. Or use Ibird Pro, which is a great app to help you ID them while in the field. Notice the birds that are showing off their spring plumage.

8. Track the weather. Is it still cold enough for a hat? Is the rain or frost keeping you inside? If you do any traveling note the differences in temperatures. I was on the eastern side of the state last week and definitely needed hat and gloves for an early morning walk. Are the days fluctuating between warm and cold or gradually getting warmer? Is frost still evident in the early morning? It's fun to notice the changes and helps you immerse yourself into the rhythm of the season. 

9. Embrace the season. Find a natural place you like and note all of the characteristics that are related to spring. Then plan to visit it often during the season and track the changes. Then take it a step further and visit the same place each season to note the difference. You will learn how every season has its own kind of beauty. 

10. Sit in the sun. Its energy is important for our health in so many ways. Bask in its warmth and remember the sun's vital importance to all living things.

11. See nature as your playground. Your playground can be anything from a local park to a wilderness area to your own backyard. Be curious. Explore. Look closely at everything. Immerse yourself in the mystery and beauty of mother nature as people have done for thousands of years. You will find nature illuminating in so many ways.   

What are some of your favorite ways to embrace spring? Are you working in your garden? Planting new shrubs? Or, maybe taking a spring vacation to a sunny spot? We want to know so share with us! And if you feel so inclined, please click the button below to share with others. 

Happy spring!!