Since I was out searching for spring a month ago, things have changed. When the spring seemed to be well on its way in the end of March, the winter struck back. Quite hard, in fact, with cold temperatures and snowfall. For a two or three weeks the spring did hardly advance at all. The birds returning from the south found themselves in difficult conditions and seemed a bit out of place.
Then spring arrived. The temperatures started to rise, but the winter made one more try. Four days ago this is what I encountered on my ride to work.
Today we had the first real spring day with a temperature of 15 C. I went for a slow ride, taking it easy after a nasty flu, to enjoy the warmth and the feeling of spring.
There are still some spots of snow and ice, but they are becoming increasingly rare.
The Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) is one of the earlier spring birds.
The ice is finally gone from the lakes, making it possible for the birds to return.
While riding along a forest trail, I encounter a couple of very curious Great Tits (Parus major). I decided to get off the bike and follow them for a while. The Great Tit is one of the birds that stays here the entire winter, bringing at least some life to the otherwise quiet winter forest.
The Christmas storm is still very visible in the forest.
The Coldsfoot is still the most common flower.
Small Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis urticae). Nice.
This one has survived the winter quite well. The colors are a little paler, but otherwise it seems to be in good shape. The one in the picture above has lost a small part of its left rear wing.
Wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa).
Liverwort (Hepatica nobilis)
Now, this was more a nature stroll than a bicycle ride, but there is nothing wrong with that.