Fleeting Delights – the emergence of Spring in Southern Ontario

More news from a Canadian perspective where guest writer Joanna Meilleur is still firmly in lockdown. In this piece she paints a vivid picture for us of how life is in Southern Ontario – in particular the emergence of Spring.

Here in Southern Ontario, spring has arrived! It’s actually come a bit earlier than usual, or so it seems, and a good thing too, as we’re all feeling so weary of the ongoing Covid restrictions. As I write this, we are just a few days into our 3rd provincial emergency stay-at-home order which is scheduled to last for the entire month of April and then some. In the UK I understand that you’re gradually emerging from lockdown. I’m sure it’s a huge relief, but I imagine there are mixed feelings. In fact, Annabel recently wrote an excellent article about moving out of lockdown, to which many readers responded with their own thoughts and feelings.

London, Ontario is centered in the middle of the what’s known as the Carolinian Forest, which is a unique eco-system filled with more flora and fauna species than anywhere else in Canada, including many rare birds, trees and amphibians. Thankfully we’ve had some lovely warm days here over the past couple of weeks, which have allowed us to get outside into our gardens and admire the Spring show that mother nature is putting on for us right now.  

The Star and Saucer Magnolia trees are in full, gorgeous bloom but will only last a week so. Most of the other trees are just at that beautiful, lacey looking stage where the buds are full and fat, but the leaves haven’t yet quite unfurled and the birds are going crazy building their nests.

Fleeting Delights - the emergence of Spring in Southern Ontario  The Spring Peeper

Just the other day, the Spring Peepers (a type of tiny frog found in Eastern North America) started their high-pitched mating call that can at times be overwhelmingly loud and truthfully a bit eerie, but to some of us who’ve spent our lives in this area of the world, it’s an oddly comforting sound that heralds spring like nothing else.

For me, the combination of the newest lockdown and the arrival of spring has brought a sort of soft focus to these fleeting delights. Because there’s so much less rushing around, I’m able to relax and really notice the season’s sights and sounds. Yesterday when I was tidying up the garden, I noticed some absolutely perfect, miniscule blue flowers sprouting from a weed. Amazing really! Why do we consider some plants flowers and others weeds?

I’m a relatively new Instagram user and am still figuring out parts of the platform, but I’ve started following some gardening accounts and am really enjoying not only the photos, but some of the quiet and peaceful commentary that goes with the posts. A couple that I love are, Sarahravenperchhill and I’ve recently started to follow Arthurparkinson and his chickens! The two of them (Sarah and Arthur, not the chickens) do a blog together, which I can highly recommend. Sarah’s voice is incredibly soothing! I’ve taken to listening to their blogs on my daily walks. I also love the_little_end _cottage and wortonkitchengarden. All UK accounts, so the gardening advice doesn’t always apply, due to our different hardiness zones, but the sensibility is the same.

Because the sun is now coming up so much earlier, I find I’m also waking up at dawn. Something that always makes my heart soar, is to hear the Cardinals announcing the new day in the half light, just as the sun peaks over the horizon. And the same at dusk, when the Robins put the neighbourhood to bed. Is there anything more joyful?

Today we retrieved our outdoor furniture from our neighbours shed where they’ve kindly permitted us to store it during the past few winters. I’m sitting on the sofa under the pergola in the dappled sunshine, and I’m barefoot! What an exquisite sensation it is to feel the warm, soft air on your toes after having them cooped up in socks and boots for months.  I was lucky enough to have had a pedicure a couple of weeks ago, so my tootsies even look good.

Good luck to all my UK friends and family as you re-emerge from lockdown. I wish you all a safe and warm summer, filled with many delightful moments!

If you would like to read Joanna’s other two articles that she has written for A&G Magazine, click here.