So many events that we would normally be looking forward to this time of year are not happening, but thankfully the show still goes on with the first signs of spring popping up all around us! And for our mental and physical health, there’s probably never been a better time to be mindful of and seek out these most amazing annual displays.
Here are some of my favorite first signs of spring & the nearby places I love to experience them:
“The days are getting longer!”
Birch Bay Berm Trail/Birch Bay
More daylight hours means more time to check out the wide-open-skies views from Birch Bay’s new & nearly completed berm trail that runs 1.6 miles along the beach. Project updates – https://www.whatcomcounty.us/522/Birch-Bay-Drive-Pedestrian-Facility-Proj
“Trees are budding!”
With dozens of spectacular varieties of trees on campus, including more than 70 species, there are so many opportunities to see every kind of budding tree. And I love the following website providing a mobile tree tour all over campus – https://treetour.wwu.edu/.
“Herons are nesting!”
Post Point Heronry (behind Post Point Treatment Plant)/Fairhaven
The Heronry is fenced off so as not to disturb the nesting herons, but the nests are easy to see from a safe distance this time of year before the trees fill out with leaves. https://cob.org/services/environment/restoration/post-point-heron-colony
“Whales are migrating!”
Fort Ebey State Park Bluff Trail /Whidbey Island
In March, grey whales head to waters around Whidbey Island to stock up on ghost shrimp before resuming their trip north. If you are super lucky you might be able to spot one from the sweeping views of the 4 mile Fort Ebey State Park Bluff Trail.
“Waterfalls are flowing!”
Chuckanut Falls Trail/Arroyo Park
Although the Arroyo Park Bridge continues to be under repair, the relatively short trail to the falls is still accessible from the North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/chuckanut-falls
“The earth smells especially earthy!”
Chuckanut Community Forest (100 Acre Woods)/Fairhaven
With a thickly wooded canopy overhead, a squishy forest floor, boggy marshlands, and mossy highlights everywhere, you can literally smell the forest kicking it into high gear doing it’s nature thing. The trailhead leading into the forest can be accessed from behind the upper shelter in Fairhaven Park. Once you enter the community forest, there are unmarked trails leading every which way, which makes for some fun exploring, but can be a little confusing. If you are unfamiliar with the area, bring a buddy, pay attention to landmarks and consider initially venturing out on some out and back routes. https://www.chuckanutcommunityforest.com/learn/physical-features-map/
And a couple more things I’m keeping in mind:
- Whenever possible, I like to go on off days or off hours for more peaceful nature viewing.
- And to offer peace of mind to my fellow trail and park users I’m masking up whenever I am near someone.
Wishing everyone lots of blissful first-signs-of-spring discoveries!
(Store co-owner) Genevie