The season of spring technically kicks off after the spring equinox, which generally falls around the 20-23 September each year (This year it was on Tuesday September 22nd, and if you want to get really specific, it happened at exactly 11.30pm AEST).
But what does this mean? Basically, it’s a midpoint, and an indicator we are heading towards warmer weather and longer days. Native birds travel across our part of Victoria and can be seen feeding on the new grass and learning how to fly.
Some years ago now, I had the good fortune to find myself in New York for a few weeks meeting family and friends. It was spring-time and the leaves on the trees in Central Park were starting to slowly appear and the birds were waking up from another long cold winter. Slowly warming up in front of the lounge room fire one evening my friends taught me this silly poem about Spring written in the true Bronx vernacular…
Spring has sprung, the grass iz riz,
I wonder where da boidies iz?
Da boid iz on da wing! Ain’t that absoid?
I always hoid da wing…wuz on da boid!
What Does Grass is Riz Mean? Translation into Standard English…
Spring is here and the grass has grown.
I wonder where the birds are hiding?
They say the birds is ‘on the wing’ (flying.)
But that’s absurd. (It’s the other way around.) The wing is on the bird!
Of course you don’t need to intently watch the calendar to count down the days until spring, nature gives us quite a few hints for when the seasons are changing.
Here are five animal and plant behaviours to look out for in the Wodonga bush:
1. Flowering wattle
Australia’s national flower is blooming in parks, gardens and on roadsides. There are close to 1000 species of wattles, or acacias, in Australia making them the country’s most common flowering plants.
Some early blooming varieties have been covered in their trademark fluffy yellow blossoms since the beginning of August, and others will continue to flower throughout spring.
2. Nesting birds
Magpies are some of the most obvious nesters, with their territorial behaviour and love of parading around carrying nesting material like sticks and pet fur. The good news is that magpies only swoop for about six weeks, while their chicks are fledging.
Native orchids and other gorgeous wildflowers are starting to pop up in the state’s North East.
4. Bats on the wing
During winter, microbats go into a deep sleep known as torpor, and begin to wake as the weather warms. If you go camping, or you’re lucky enough to have bats in your garden or local park, listen for the chirping sounds some species make.
5. Reptiles emerging
Like microbats, the sleepy lizards, skinks, geckos and dragons are beginning to wake up from their winter sleep. As we get more sun, you’ll see them basking on flat rocks, concrete and sand.