Well wasn’t that a very very long Winter for us Vancouverites, more Snow than we can remember and a chill in the air that is finally slowly but surely ebbing away but as we stand we are still a few degrees below the average for this time of year. This time last year it was the complete opposite, gloriously sunny skies and warm temperatures that were way above the seasonal average. However, fear not as there are signs that Spring is actually here and Vancouver is truly pretty in the Spring – here is what you will see so enjoy!
The first signs as always are the gorgeous Cherry Blossoms that are found pretty much everywhere in the city, one of the best places to see the display of pinks, white and red petals are at the Burrard Street Sky Train station, the blossoms are so thick that it creates a ceiling of pink and when the Spring turns to Summer all the petals fall to the ground creating a pavement of pink, it is really quite spectacular.
Not only do the Cherry Blossoms steal the show but there are also stunning Camellia Trees – in fact there is one that is just around the corner on Thurlow Street that is in full bloom right now and it is stunning.
The next sign that Spring is coming is the abundance of wildlife that is emerging from the cold of Winter, head up to Grouse Mountain and you meet the Bears Grinder and Coola who are both 15 and have a den there, they will be emerging from hibernation now and you can check them out on the Web cam here: https://www.grousemountain.com/wildlife-refuge/bear-cam
Head over to Stanley Park and the Tennis courts, here you will find the Great Blue Herons who nest here every Spring to rear their young before they fly off and make their own lives for themselves, these Herons are really a sight to see especially as there around 100 nests there, this spot has been chosen by them since 2001 for whatever reason, it has been documented that the Herons have nested in various areas of the park since 1921. The majestic birds are not too high up so you can see them in all their glory and can watch the chicks grow and you can witness the mating pairs go through their rituals. Check out the Heron Cam here: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/heron-cam.aspx
Where ever you see nesting birds like the Seagulls and lots of Crows, which we have many of all over the city as practically every roof top is home to a regular Seagull there will be Eagles circling above soaring high all over the city. When you hear the crows and Seagulls making loud crying noises you can place a good bet that it is a Golden Eagle ready to swoop down for a feed as fledgling season is in full swing. This is one of the few rare occasions where the Crows and Seagulls gang up together and really take nifty swoops at the Eagles who in actual fact seem pretty non plussed about the attacking birds.
Talking of Crows there are so many here and a few Vancouverites have learned to make friends with birds – it is true that they will recognize you over time and they are likely to bring you shiny gifts in return, and when you see a group of Crows it is highly likely that you are looking at Mum, Dad and the kids as they do live together as a family, how cute!
At Sunrise and Sunset the crows all fly in a murder that can be up to a few hundred strong and fly in a straight line from the roost in the mornings and back again at sundown, it is an incredible sight. We also have a famous timid crow who we are sure thinks it is Human, the crow is called Canuck and is in the media quite a lot, this little star is known to ride the sky train, meddle with a crime scene where it stole a knife and attends Football games where he is just a part of the crowd. There was a sad incident recently where someone attacked poor Canuck at one of these Football games, but, he is well on the road to recovery and should be released back to his hood as of today, Get well Canuck the crow! Here is a great article about him http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/canuck-the-crow-back-ruling-the-roost-happy-fit-and-reunited-with-cassiar
Finally the most popular animals to look out for and you will see them are the local Skunks and Raccoons that live in every part of the city and are likely to be spotted at dusk and overnight, these creatures are harmless but as we know the Skunks do have that horrible spray that is not the most pleasant of smells, so give them some space and everything will be A ok – unless the poor thing has it head stuck in something then call 311 which is the City number and they can help the wee thing out as this happens quite a lot.
So there we have it, get out and about and explore the sights sounds and smells of Vancouver as Spring is really the most magical time of the year here.