We’ve moved our clocks forward and Easter is just a few weeks away, but here in Vancouver it can seem like the transition from winter to spring happens very slowly. With long stretches of grey, wet, windy days no matter whether it’s November or March, it can be hard to get excited about the end of winter. But you know what? Spring is here! Here are some activities to help you say goodbye to winter and welcome the early days of spring.
Hit the Slopes
Whether you and your family loves to ski, snowshoe or just muck about in the snow, getting out to the North Shore mountains to enjoy the last of the season’s snow is a great way to celebrate the change of seasons. Soak up the feel of every chilly wet mitten, clammy sock and bulky snow boot. In just a few months all that snow will have melted and the city will be hot and sticky. Can you imagine it?
Search out Signs We’re Moving from Winter to Spring
Despite the clouds and rain, the lengthening days are working their magic on the trees, flowers and shrubs across the city. Go on a little walk through your neighbourhood with your kids and see who can spot the most signs that we’re moving from winter to spring. You’ll probably be able to see tiny buds or new leaves just starting to emerge on trees and bushes, perhaps some early daffodils, and almost certainly some snowdrops and crocuses. Last week my daughter even saw an early bee out collecting pollen on a sunny day.
Walk or Bike the Blossoms
Soon, ornamental flowering trees across the city will be bursting into bloom. There is no better excuse to stop and appreciate nature’s fantastic extravagance than a flowering cherry in full bloom. There’s also no better sign that we’ve moved from winter to spring. If you’d like to join other people who also love to appreciate the beauty of Vancouver’s flowering trees, check out the 2012 Bike the Blossoms event, co-hosted by Velopalooza and The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s happening on April 28th, and features a free guided ride through some of the finest cherry blossoms the city has to offer, with a talk by Parks Board Arborist Bill Stephen.
Join a CSA
Most gardens can look dull and brown as we move from winter to spring, but the folks working to produce local food are busy planning, planting and cultivating their soil. If you’ve always thought about joining a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, this is the time to do it. Early in the season the rates are often lower to encourage people to sign up before the main planting has been done. The more people sign up early, the better the farmer can plan his crops accordingly. We’ve even made your life easy by compiling a list of local food resources. Delicious, organic, local veggies? Hello spring!
With the last of the winter weather hanging about, it can feel like an impossibly long time to wait before the sun comes out. But it’s really time to celebrate! However you like to say goodbye to winter, the signs of spring are here and the tides are turning. The snow will melt, the leaves will grow and the sun will shine on our rainy city once more.
What are your favourite ways to mark the transition from winter to spring here in Vancouver?
Michelle Carchrae is often asking those important life questions: "who moved the scissors?", "how would you do that differently next time?" and "are you finished with the glitter glue?" Homeschooling two girls, ages 6 and 3, is her full time job. The rest of the time Michelle can be found blogging at The Parent Vortex, hiking in the forest or knitting and reading simultaneously. She recently published her first ebook, The Parenting Primer: A guide to positive parenting in the first six years, and moved to Bowen Island.