Looking Forward to Spring

Hello and welcome to the third Wellness Weekend link-up of 2020! I hope that despite the grim COVID-19 pandemic news, the new season entices you to do something that brings you joy. The link-up optional prompt is Spring Forward so I’m sharing the 5 things that I look forward to in Spring.

5 things I look forward to in Spring

1) Sunny days, longer daylight hours, and milder temperatures: On Sunday March 8, we started daylight saving time and moved our clock forward an hour. We had some gorgeous sunny days this week, with high temperatures reached 14C (57F). Although it was still on the cool side for the rest of the week, it felt very nice for outdoor walks.

A sunny day by Lake Ontario
A sunny day by Lake Ontario

2) Spring flowers in local florist shops and gardens: During one of my walks this week, I saw potted camellias, daffodils, forsythia, and tulips for sale at some of the local shops. Soon we’ll have pansies, cherry blossoms, and more spring flowers in our local gardens and parks. They bring cheerful colours to the city which has been mostly white or in muted colours throughout the winter.

Pink and highly fragrant Camellia Lutchuensis
Pink and highly fragrant Camellia Lutchuensis

3) Bird watching: We have a lot of mallards, ducks, swans, and Canada geese in Toronto Harbour. The long-tailed ducks are fun to watch as they dip and stay under water for a long time before popping up. The red-winged blackbirds have returned with their vocal chorus. Soon they’ll be nesting and become aggressive to anyone who goes near their nests. Bird watching will then take on a slightly different meaning πŸ™‚

Mallards and American black ducks
Mallards and American black ducks

4) Spring outdoor activities: Time to swap skates and skis for wheels like bicycles or roller blades. I look forward to cycling and heading out on one of the dedicated bike paths in the city. Spring is an excellent time for cycling before the hot and humid summer weather arrives.

Bike Share Station
Bike Share Station

5) Syrup, the sweetest sap, as in Maple Syrup: As winter wanes, maple trees’ sap starts to flow and the maple syrup harvest can begin. Throughout March we have festivals to celebrate one of Canada’s tastiest exports – maple syrup. Many public events unfortunately got cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, I look forward to enjoying one of the maple lattes at Second Cup Coffee, a Canadian coffee retailer and roaster.

Maple Fresh Coffee Brew, Maple Latte, and Maple White Hot Chocolate
Maple Fresh Coffee Brew, Maple Latte, and Maple White Hot Chocolate

Click here to join in on the fun and share your wellness-related post, or let me know what you’re looking forward to in spring. I’d love to hear your comments.

Copyright Β© 2020 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

85 thoughts on “Looking Forward to Spring

  1. Jill Weatherholt March 15, 2020 / 7:45 am

    After reading so many blog posts on COVID-19, this was a breath of fresh air, Natalie. I’m looking for to the same and the return of our hummingbirds. Loved your beautiful photos! Thanks for brightening our day.

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 9:14 am

      Thank you, Jill, for your comment which brightens my day, too. I try to keep things in perspective and stay in tune with what Mother Nature provides to nurture us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hugh W. Roberts March 15, 2020 / 7:56 am

    Our spring flowering bulbs started showing in January, Natalie. It’s been such a mild and wet winter in the UK, everything seems to be early. Even our tulips are already out. They usually don’t come out until mid-April.
    I agree spring is a great time to cycle. Our summers have turned more and more into being too hot and humid. Fortunately, we live near the coast, so we get some cool, refreshing sea breezes.
    Your photos are lovely, and I love the sound of the maple syrup festivals. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic news, do you think they’ll still take place? A lot of events in the UK have already been cancelled. We’re expecting the news that all mass gatherings will be banned from this week.

    As for what I’m looking forward to this spring – longer walks, chocolate eggs, and being able to sit in the garden.

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 9:22 am

      Thank you, Hugh, for your comment. How lovely that you’ve already had tulips and that you live near the coast. The maple syrup festivals and many other big events have been cancelled. I can still get a maple coffee drink at the local coffee shop at this time. Chocolate eggs should be on deep sale the day after Easter and I plan to get some.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hugh W. Roberts March 15, 2020 / 10:31 am

        Ah, so they’ve already been cancelled. What a shame, Natalie. I think many big events are going to end up being postponed or cancelled.

        Many of our shops (including cafes and restaurants) are beginning to close down now for at least two weeks, although schools remain open in the UK. It’s going to be very strange times for many of us. I think this spring is going to be much different from how it usually is.

        Like

        • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 10:57 am

          It’s a different spring for sure, Hugh. Currently, public schools in my province of Ontario and many services and attractions in Toronto are closed from March 13 until April 5. We normally have March break for primary and secondary students mid-March. This year it’s extended for two more weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many events have been cancelled, and the service sector is adjusting their opening hours. What normally is a very busy time in the city is now very quiet.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne@PictureRetirement March 15, 2020 / 9:47 am

    Hi Natalie, in terms of temperature, South Florida skipped Spring and plunged into Summer rather quickly but it is still comfortable. Longer days means more sunshine for me to enjoy, bike rides, neighborhood walks and lots of bird activity. The colors of Spring are a photographers delight. We too have had a multitude of cancellations, so why not turn our attention to nature.

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 10:43 am

      I love the spring activities that you mentioned, Suzanne. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful photos.

      Like

  4. Gary A Wilson March 15, 2020 / 11:17 am

    Hi Natalie! And welcome to our weekend coffee share. I’ve been part of the group for a couple of years now and don’t think we’ve met – but age does what age does so forgive me if I’m wrong.

    Regardless, I’m glad you joined us for a virtual cup today and I was very pleased to have a friend among us from Ontario. During a previous professional life, I had a contract that took me to North York about once per month and loved the area and people. I miss that job some days.

    Anyway, I’m from Northern California, about an hour north of San Francisco. You and I started blogging about the same time it seems. My focus has been on story telling. My first project has been to create and share clean, funny, short (10 minute or less) autobiographical, 1st person stories that are both nostalgic and funny (mostly). with 60 some odd in my collection, I’m beginning to add some fictional stories to widen my scope.

    I enjoyed the visit you provided to what I think is southern Toronto and (yummm) that someone other than me loves maple coffee. I drink much more tea than coffee but when I have coffee, it is most often sweetened with real maple syrup for an amazing comforting way to start the day.

    I hope you come back each weekend with other visits and insights to your part of the globe.

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 11:25 am

      Thank you, Gary, for your visit and comment. With the current pandemic, blogging has an even bigger role to connect us and let us share what we experience in our part of the world. I’m glad you had a positive work experience in North York. I’ll visit your blog shortly.

      Like

  5. Lydia C. Lee March 15, 2020 / 4:54 pm

    We’ve had rain for three days – it’s grey and dull (but we need the rain so can’t complain). Your photos and cheery post is most welcome!

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 5:15 pm

      I’m glad to bring some sunshine to your screen, Lydia. We had another sunny day today, still on the cool side but very nice to walk outdoors.

      Like

  6. Joanne March 15, 2020 / 5:35 pm

    These are all wonderful reasons to look forward to spring; I feel the same way about so many of them!

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 6:17 pm

      Glad you feel the same way about spring, Joanne. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  7. Laurie March 15, 2020 / 6:18 pm

    Oooh, I love to look at the ducks in the spring. I need to use my field guide each year. I don’t remember the ducks ffrom one year to the next. Thanks for hosting!

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 7:07 pm

      I remember a few and refer to a guide, too, Laurie. Thank you for linking up with me on this Wellness Weekend.

      Like

  8. Ingrid Ingrid March 15, 2020 / 7:02 pm

    I wish I was heading into Spring. Spring is my favourite time of year. In Australia we are heading into Autumn and Winter.

    Like

    • Natalie March 15, 2020 / 7:09 pm

      I find Spring refreshing and Autumn comforting. Thank you, Ingrid, for stopping by.

      Like

  9. Retirement Reflections March 15, 2020 / 9:52 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I agree with Jill. This post is a breath of fresh air…and has inspired me to get back outside and welcome Spring! Nicely done.

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 9:37 am

      Thank you, Donna. I’m glad you liked my post. So much natural beauty where you live. Hope you and Richard continue to stay active and healthy.

      Like

  10. leannelc March 16, 2020 / 12:38 am

    I laughed at your “warm 14 degrees” days Natalie – that’s a cool Winter’s day for us here in Australia. But I also think that it’s about the sunshine and the chance to get outdoors without rugging up that really shows Spring is in the air for you. We’re still waiting for Autumn to get underway down here.

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 9:45 am

      Leanne, It’s not unusual for us to have snow in March so 14C is atypical. I think it’s easier to manage the pandemic news when the sun is shining and with nice weather every day.

      Like

      • leannelc March 17, 2020 / 11:48 pm

        Hi Natalie – I thought the same thing about the virus – it’s less scary when you’re in the sunshine.
        Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

        Like

        • Natalie March 18, 2020 / 8:48 am

          Thank you, Leanne, for hosting and sharing. Have a wonderful week!

          Like

  11. Sydney Shop Girl March 16, 2020 / 2:38 am

    Natalie
    Thank you for your positivity and reminder to enjoy the little things in these times with your post today!

    I am grateful for my yoga practice in helping me be in the moment at all times.

    SSG xxx

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 9:46 am

      Yoga practice is so helpful, SSG. Good for you for practicing it. Namaste!

      Like

  12. Sanch @ Sanch Writes March 16, 2020 / 2:42 am

    Oh I wish the weather would clear up here and we could actually have autumn. I love spring and autumn and summer too but it feels like this year, everything is taking a hit and we’ve moved straight to rainy winter from a fiery summer. I hope you get to enjoy spring!

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 9:48 am

      Hope your day is going well, Sanch, and you have reasons to be ‘singing in the rain’. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  13. Debbie from Deb's World March 16, 2020 / 3:17 am

    I love your list of things to look forward to Natalie, and with Spring on your doorstep. We’re going into Autumn and your post is a btreath of fresh air as others have said. Many thanks #lifethisweek

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 9:50 am

      Hope all is well in your part of the world, Deb. Mother Nature provides wonderful things when we look. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. trentpmcd March 16, 2020 / 8:39 am

    It is getting more spring-like here as well. And I have been enjoying a lot of real maple syrup – I have some in my oatmeal almost every morning. Enjoy the lengthening days and milder weather!

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 9:52 am

      Oatmeal and real maple syrup, a healthy start of the day. Thank you, Trent, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. ellenbest24 March 16, 2020 / 10:40 am

    My post touches on the covid theme too. I came via Esme and her #SeniSal link.
    We have some visiting Partridge that have a death wish as they scamper through the fence risking life and feathers. Our rescue pup is fast and loud, but still, they come. We can see the boxing Hares across the stream from the kitchen window and Morehens quietly wander next to the farmer’s pond, By my working out, spring is close enough to sniff; but I won’t risk putting the coat or brolly away yet.

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 10:52 am

      Thank you, Ellen, for your visit and comment. I’m smiling thinking of the pup chasing the partridge, while the hares and hens pondering what they are up to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ellenbest24 March 16, 2020 / 11:01 am

        The neighbours definitely know somethings afoot. bark bark bark.

        Like

  16. Barbara Harper March 16, 2020 / 3:36 pm

    I am so looking forward to spring, too, especially more warmth, daylight, and blooming things. #Senisal

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 5:49 pm

      Given the current grim global pandemic news, spring sunshine, longer daylight hours, and pretty flowers are definitely welcoming and comforting signs. Thank you, Barbara, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. gallivance.net March 16, 2020 / 3:43 pm

    I think we are kindred spirits, Natalie. The anticipation of Spring just sends me into a tizzy! I always want to plant things too early, but I’m learning to control my impulses. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the beautiful preview. ~Terri

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      March is a risky month to plant, isn’t it? I’m taking the cues from the local park maintenance workers and plant when they start planting. Thank you, Terri, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. restlessjo March 16, 2020 / 3:50 pm

    I was going to ask if you had restrictions in Canada, Natalie, but the comments answered that for me. Take care out there, and make the most of any sunshine you can. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 6:28 pm

      Hi Jo, Here we’ve had school and big event closures since March 13. We haven’t had city lock-down yet so I can still take my leisure walk. Hope you’re doing well. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe and healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com March 16, 2020 / 7:10 pm

    Although we are getting a bit of rain (which we need so yay!) but spring is definitely in the air here. Just cause we are suppose to be distancing ourselves, we can still get out and about and enjoy the fresh air! Happy spring to you!

    Like

    • Natalie March 16, 2020 / 7:40 pm

      Happy spring to you, Janis! I’m grateful to be able to go out for leisure walks while some cities in the world have been locked down due to the pandemic. I usually go out at non-peak hours and hardly see anyone as most people are at work or drive in their cars.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Carol March 17, 2020 / 3:32 pm

    Flowers, birds, and other favorites in nature – a great blessing of spring

    Like

    • Natalie March 17, 2020 / 4:05 pm

      Mother Nature provides wonderful things when we look. Thank you, Carol, for stopping by.

      Like

  21. Suzanne March 17, 2020 / 5:03 pm

    Hi Natalie

    One thing I really enjoyed when living in the Northern Hemisphere was the arrival of spring after a freezing winter. Camillas are a delight and here is too you having much more time out in the sun and fresh air.

    Like

    • Natalie March 17, 2020 / 6:02 pm

      Hi Suzanne, The seasonal changes seem to be more distinct in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is definitely welcome here and now. Virtual cheers to more time out in the sun and fresh air!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond March 17, 2020 / 5:38 pm

    Hi Natalie, thanks for the link up but also your positive approach to life. Spring is one of my favourite times of year, although where I live I’m going into Autumn which I also love. My climate is more temperate than yours but after visiting Canada during late Autumn I can appreciate you wanting to get out into the Springtime and enjoy sunshine, flowers and fun. Thanks for linking up and sharing at #MLSTL and enjoy your week. xx

    Like

    • Natalie March 17, 2020 / 6:05 pm

      Hi Sue, I like to put my positive thinking into actions. Even though we had a mild winter this year, spring is very welcome here and now. I’m happy to get out and about and enjoy nature. Have a wonderful week!

      Like

  23. Jennifer Jones March 17, 2020 / 8:23 pm

    Hi Nataiie, I love the first bursts of spring after a long cold winter. We are just going into autumn so still have the cold weather ahead of us. I also love the autumn days with their crisp nights #MLSTL Sharing

    Like

    • Natalie March 17, 2020 / 9:06 pm

      Hi Jennifer, Autumn is a comforting season to me, and Spring is refreshing. I’m grateful to be able to go for outdoor walks at this grim time around the world. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  24. csuhpat1 March 17, 2020 / 9:00 pm

    So very beautiful, something that I need today. Even though the San Francisco Bay Area is pretty much on lockdown (except for essential trips) I am trying to live life and get out and walk around. #MLSTL

    Like

    • Natalie March 17, 2020 / 9:09 pm

      I’m glad my photos gave you a brief visual break. We need to see nature and beauty during this challenging time. Thank you, Patrick, for stopping by. Stay safe.

      Like

  25. Kathleen Howell March 17, 2020 / 9:23 pm

    Definitely looking forward to spring! Thank you for the reminder of all the good that’s right around the corner!

    Like

    • Natalie March 17, 2020 / 9:30 pm

      Thank you, Kathleen, for your visit and comment. Spending time in nature gives us some comfort and perspectives during this challenging time.

      Like

  26. Veronica Lee March 18, 2020 / 12:18 am

    No spring here, only summer forever but thank you for the joy and beauty your post brings!

    Happy Wednesday!

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2020 / 8:41 am

      You’re welcome, Veronica. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great Wednesday!

      Like

  27. betty - NZ March 18, 2020 / 3:09 am

    That’s a great list of things to be doing soon! It’s getting colder here in NZ, so I won’t be gardening any time soon πŸ™‚

    Thanks for your contribution to ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2020 / 8:43 am

      Autumn is time for warm comfort, isn’t it? Thank you, Betty, for stopping by.

      Like

  28. Denyse Whelan March 18, 2020 / 4:28 am

    As we slide into Autumn you spring forward…our daylight saving still has 3 weeks to go and not all Australian states have it. Very confusing. You have reminded me of how much I liked maple syrup on french toast…with strawberries and bacon on the side – from a cafe. There days it would be impossible for me to eat more than 1/3 but yum it was nice!! Thank you for being part of Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt (made before COVID 19 lol) is 12/51 Out & About. 23.3.2020. Hope to see you there too. Denyse.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2020 / 8:47 am

      French toasts with maple syrup and fresh berries are yummy. Thank you, Denyse, for hosting. I’m grateful that I can still be out and about while practicing social distancing. Have a great week!

      Like

  29. Erica/Erika March 18, 2020 / 6:38 pm

    I knew you would be a bright part of my day when I opened up your post, Natalie. Thank you for sharing Toronto’s Spring photos. Very pretty! In future I want to try a maple latte. Spring is pretty around here, too. Lots of daffodils and crocuses. Again, thank you for making this a bright spot in my day. Stay healthy, Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2020 / 8:39 pm

      Hi Erica/ Erika, I remember how beautiful BC is in the spring. I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy, I’m glad to make my post a bright spot in your day. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 19, 2020 / 10:38 am

      Thank you, Shari, for stopping by.

      Like

  30. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com March 23, 2020 / 8:25 pm

    Maple white hot chocolate, where have you been all my life?? Glad your temps have warmed up. Ours, too. This week we will be in the mid-80sF/30C. Will be in the pool before we know it.

    Like

    • Natalie March 23, 2020 / 9:03 pm

      We usually don’t reach 30C until summer. Glad to hear you’re home safely and can enjoy your pool. Thanks, Leslie, for stopping by.

      Like

    • Natalie March 24, 2020 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you, Crystal, for your visit and comment. I hope the pandemic will be over soon and travel restrictions will ease so your family can carry out your US/Canada trip.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Dr Sock March 29, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    Natalie, I love spring too. Well, actually, I love all the seasons. Of course, here on the west coast, we are a little ahead of you in terms of spring springing. I have been out on the trails taking pictures of the wild flowers as they pop up. I’ve also been enjoying happy days in my garden cleaning up and getting ready to plant.

    Jude

    Like

    • Natalie March 29, 2020 / 4:54 pm

      Hi Jude, I remember how mild BC was (compared to Ontario) and how the flowers seemed to be everywhere when I was there one spring. It’s really wonderful that you have a garden and are close to nature trails. Enjoy your time in nature!

      Like

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