Sure Signs of Spring in Calgary

Despite the official arrival of spring almost four weeks ago, signs of spring remain elusive. Recent heavy snowfall in much of Alberta makes skiers happy, but for those of us hoping to spot an apple blossom or whose fingers a twitching to plant the annual vegetable patch, it seems like winter’s hanging around forever!

Thanks to my long-standing habit of staying alert to changes in our backyard, nearby parks and along Calgary pathways, I’m happy to report there are sure signs that spring is creeping over the landscape of Calgary.

Thick ice persisted on the channel that separates Prince’s Island Park from downtown Calgary, but ice on the Bow River itself was well into break-up just a couple of days after Spring Equinox. And plenty of cyclists, runners, walkers and skateboarders are making good use of the pathway system.


Early harbingers of spring in suburban Calgary include the fluffy (pollen laden) catkins on aspen trees, pale green primrose leaves and mottled white and tan fur on jackrabbits (regrettably, they haven’t posed for me).


A full three weeks after the official start of spring, part of Glenmore Reservoir was still covered in rotten ice, while all kinds of ducks and gulls enjoyed the open water.


West-facing lawns are starting to turn green and Cotoneaster shrubs are leafing out. Robins provided the music for my outdoor exercise the other day. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I spotted the most compelling natural sign that spring has officially arrived in Calgary – prairie crocuses!


Which do you prefer – winter or spring? And what is the one thing that convinces you that spring has finally arrived?

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