The 12 Signs Of Spring

May 12, 2011

Spring butterfly sitting on a yellow flower

A few weeks ago, I was reading Radio Times, a TV listings magazine, and found a small article advertising Springwatch Easter Special. Springwatch is a show about British wildlife and gives tips on what to look out for as spring arrives. This article also gave a list of the 12 signs of spring. Here it is, courtesy of the Woodland Trust:

  1. Blue Tit feeding young
  2. Swallow first seen
  3. Horse Chestnut flowering
  4. Orange Tip Butterfly first seen
  5. Hawthorn flowering
  6. Bluebells flowering
  7. Speckled Wood Butterfly first seen
  8. Silver Birch first flowering
  9. Rowan first flowering
  10. Nightingale first seen
  11. Red Admiral Butterfly first seen
  12. Ash first leaf

Lovely isn’t it? Now let me give you the 12 signs of spring, London style:

  1. Sound of the Mr Whippy ice cream van
  2. Trashy cars with open windows, playing music loud enough to make ears bleed
  3. Breathing deeply and getting a lungful of thick air and even thicker diesel
  4. Mutterings about hosepipe bans after more than one day of sunshine
  5. Fashion disasters for men: shorts; socks; sandals; too-tight tops with added belly; topless with moobs
  6. Fashion disasters for women: shorts; muffin tops; too-tight top and ill-fitting bra combos resembling ferrets fighting in a sack
  7. Heating on the bus turned up full blast on the hottest day of the season
  8. Stuck in a broken down tube train in stifling heat for up to two hours
  9. Tourists increasing in size from groups of 10 to groups of 30
  10. Said tourist groups getting in the way of commuters trying to get home after being stuck in hot broken trains for two hours
  11. Black smoke and petrol fumes from BBQs
  12. Seaside towns invaded by Londoners with dogs, loud music and aforementioned BBQs

If you have any signs of spring in your town, please share them. Me? I can’t wait for the summer!



  1. I live up North you don’t get spring, you get a couple of hot days which covers spring and summer, then a full blown winter from June onwards lol. That being said we have had some wonderful roasting days in April.

    • April has been an unusual month, weather wise, for most of us. But worry not, normal service will be resumed in June.

  2. Our sign of Spring is the annual Lowering of the Monthly Utility Bill, indicating that Winter has backed off at last. Alcohol is consumed at home in celebration. (In Winter, we gather at the local to complain about the weather, specifically during “Happy Hour”.)

    • Whingeing about the weather in the local bar at ‘Happy Hour.’ The irony has not been lost on me – I like that.

  3. Spring here in The Netherlands usually means an unseasonably warm few days, whereby everyone enthusiastically, packs away their thickest wooly jumpers, turn off their gas heaters at the mains or close off their central heating systems…
    … only to drag it all out and crank them up again when the frosts, rain and cold return with a vengence a week or two later.
    Spring usually arrives “properly” about three weeks later, but some years there can be as many as three false alarms.
    This year however was an exception, it got warm in April and has been like that for almost 6 weeks… the Dutch are in shock!

    • Get the smelling salts out, Kiwi – quickly!

  4. I brought number 5 with me when I moved out to Surrey.

    • I’m happy to hear you’re bringing some of our London ways to the denizens of leafy Surrey. I’m sure they appreciate it.

  5. Here in the midwest United States, I live in a section of Michigan known for frequent weather changes. Spring ricochets between snow and sunny/warm.

    We engage in a three-part ritual. When it gets beautiful we say, “It’s Michigan! It won’t last.” We then express shock and outrage when it snows. Then we all say once again, “It’s Michigan!”

    • Oh, that’s funny – “It’s Michigan!”

      It sounds similar to the UK in some ways. The further north you go, the more likely you’ll get weather like that and the complaints that go with it. Maybe I should visit Michigan in the spring – I’d fit right in.

  6. I love the spring…just show me some sun and I am in there.

    • Spring was pretty good here, actually. We’ve had a shocking start to the summer, but today the sun was out and blasting its rays like you wouldn’t believe. It’s a tentative statement I make here, but I think summer has arrived!

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