Spring is a succession of happy events as different wildflowers make their appearance and the foliage goes through many shades of green. Hazelnut tassles (male flowers) are an early sign of spring.
In late February, the first flowers of spring along with the Scilla lilies are the primroses (Primula aricula) in the meadows around the chalet.
Then in April come a second Primula, forest violets, and the tulips in front of my bedroom window.
New leaves come out on the trees, and the fruit trees blossom.
Cherry tree in bloom
Crabapple tree and blossoms
The trees in the forest bloom too
In May, the first wild orchids start blooming, first the military orchid (Orchis militaris), then a small yellow-green orchid (Listera ovata).
Orchid Listera ovata
The forest lilies include Paris quadrifolia and calla lilies Arum maculatum.
Lily Paris quadrifolia
In the meadows, there is the unique Colchicum autumnale, which produces large green leaves and seed pods in the spring, which fade and disappear in the summer, to be followed by beautiful purple flowers on long white stems rising directly from the ground in late summer (see summer).
Colchicum autumnale leaves
In the forest, there are rare patchs of Ail des Ourses (bears' garlic)
Ail des ourses
The forest gradually awakens, although hints of spring can still bring winter surprises. A late wet snowfall in April 2005 broke off many treetops and felled large trees across my property, the access road, and even my power lines.
February or March sees a carpet of beautiful deep blue lilies (Scilla bifolia) that cover the woodland floor at the far end of my property before the badger dens.
Carpet of lilies
Blue lilies (Scilla bifolia)
Other wildflowers add touches of colour everywhere. I am still
trying to learn all their names.
The garden plantings also bring colour after the long grey-green winter.
Orchid in garden
Spring is the best time to root out the brambles and dig out the saplings of forest trees that keep invading the meadows.
Blackberry brambles are particularly difficult to uproot.