Ireland: Signs of Spring


Behold, my friends, the spring is come;
the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun,
and we shall soon see the results of their love!

~ Sitting Bull


Yellow Flowers



By Irish reckoning, Spring begins on the first of February.  Having grown up in Southern California, it took me a while to get my head around the idea of 4 separate seasons.  (And no, it was not just sunshine all the time; it was more like "deathly hot / wildfire" season vs. "downpour / mudslide" season.)  After moving to Washington state, I finally started to get a sense of how solstices and equinoxes marked separate parts of the yearly cycle.  Discovering that Ireland, where a lot of this pagan-ish, solstice-y stuff was said to originate, was on a different schedule is something to which I am still adjusting.

sunshine!  it's proof!Still, the land moves at its own pace and we're just along for the ride.  Since the beginning of February, the skies have ranged from sunny and clear, to windstorms and small craft warnings, to the regular ol' grey and damp.  The temperature has temporarily risen to Nearly Warm Enough For Only Two Layers and then dropped abruptly to Wearing A Hat And Scarf To Bed.  So far the flowers don't seem to mind and the days keep getting (gloriously!) longer.

Not long ago there was about a week of warmth and sunshine that inspired me to go on the hunt for a pair of athletic shoes.  I found an amazing deal – one pair only, my size, on sale – for 10 euro.  "It must be a sign!" I thought.  Alas, it was a short-lived sign. 

Despite a promising beginning, my exercise regime got put on hold the day I went outside and nearly froze my face off.  Yeah, that one week was followed by a couple of weeks of Arctic temps that led to much laptop snuggling and drinking of hot beverages rather than jogging.  Is the fact that I got happy when the rain came back an indication that I've been here too long?  After all, it's a bit warmer now.  Hmm.  Jogging in the rain…  I will have to ponder this one over several cups of tea.

There are other signs that the wheel of the year is turning…


playing tag in the spring in Ireland

Parents playfully pursuing pipsqueaks at the park…


Yay, purple!

Peeking purple petals…


Actually, I think swans are a year-round bird, but that's ok!

Swans sweetly swimming…


I've got more than a couple of friends who help out with animal rescue organizations in Cork.  Recently, one of them suggested we head out into the wilderness with a couple of doggies in need of fresh air and play time.  We initially planned for some inland woods, as the Arctic weather was still upon us.  However, by the time our actual expedition rolled around, we opted for the beach.  As he is a huge fan of Youghal, that's where we ended up. 


doggy at the beach in Youghal, Ireland

Not being a pup-sicle at the beach is a sign of spring.


It was indeed warm enough that neither the doggies nor the humans froze to death.  The doggies enjoyed a rousing game of Chase But Fail To Return The Ball, while the humans enjoyed a game of Fetching The Balls We'd Thrown.  The dogs were wet but happy and the humans were dry-ish and happy.  Until we got back to the car and had wet dogs sitting on us.  (Actually, I'd cleverly packed some towels, so it wasn't bad at all.)

But really, the thing that says "spring" to me like no other thing in Ireland is the daffodils.  I think my camera must have picked up on the way I see them, because they are truly luminescent! 


Delightful daffodill-i-oos!

I smile every time I see this photo.  LOVE daffodils!


This scene immediately puts me in mind of All in the Golden Afternoon from Disney's Alice In Wonderland.  If only there were tulips nearby, I'd go tiptoe through them!  In the meantime, it's time to have some tea, sans hatters and rabbits, and hum along with the song while looking forward to the next warm day…


What signs of spring are you finding?


This post is part of a series about Spring along with several other websites.
You can find more great posts at Traveling with Sweeney's Spring Fever Blog Carnival.  Check it out!  :)

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  1. Yay Spring! I can never decide which i like better…Spring or Autumn – both so beautiful and magical. I loved growing up in NJ with all 4 seasons and would see those crocuses & daffodils (and tulips too) peaking out in our front garden every year.

    1. I agree. Both seasons have their perks. I think at some point in my life, I’d like to spend a year in the NE of the US and drink in the loveliness of the changes. :)

  2. Planning a trip back to the states in April specifically so I can experience a bit of spring for the first time in several years!! Didn’t realize how much I missed it!

    1. I grew up without the full spectrum of seasonal changes, but now that I’ve experienced it, I do rather like it! Enjoy your trip, Phil. :)

  3. lol pup sicle

    1. I live for your lols, Hoggapants.

  4. Living in a climate which is very similar to the one you enjoyed in California you might expect there to be no spring here, but in fact, higher up in the mountains there is! Not too far up either – twice in the last couple of months I've been entranced by the sight of whole meadows of wildflowers, the like of which I can only ever once recall seeing in England!….you just never know – the world is never just what we think, is it!

    1. This is true. I keep hoping that – just temporarily – I’ll go downstairs to discover my kitchen has turned into a tropical beach with endless BBQ and fresh fruit being served by tanned, scantily clad– Well, I should stop there. I’ll just enjoy the daffodils for now. ;)

  5. Bemused Boomer says:

    LOVE this post! Made me laugh and almost feel nostalgic for cold rainy weather. Almost. I don’t truly feel nostalgic for it until summer in my desert, which makes me absolutely LONG for rain and cold.

    Signs of spring here include tons of hummingbirds as they begin to migrate back to their northern homes. Tiny hummers, bigger hummers, green iridescent show-offs to drab brown ones that are truly hard to see until they move.

    1. The answer is clear: next summer, you must come to Ireland! Glad you enjoyed the post. ;)

  6. Ooooooooo crocuses and daffodils are my favourite flowers! In part because they remind me of the time we spent on the Channel Islands :)

    1. Being from S. California, when you say "Channel Islands", I immediately think of places like Catalina and East Anacapa Island, which are either dry and scrubby or windy and sea-worn. I'm guessing you meant a different set of islands. ;)

  7. That is a great shot of the daffodils — a sure sign of spring.
    Daffodils always make me feel happy!

    1. Thank you! Have you seen daffodils in Ireland? Seriously, something about the light here – they GLOW. :)

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