It’s Time to Spring Back Outside!

With the cold, dreary days of winter finally over, and the young, green shoots of nature popping up everywhere now, you might be itching to get out there and inhale the long-awaited fresh, spring air. As the temperatures get warmer and the days get longer, now is the perfect time to visit the Cape’s seashores, woods and wetlands and enjoy all that this beautiful spit of land offers.

Here are a few suggestions on how to celebrate this special time between the end of winter and the rush of seasonal tourists just a few shorts weeks away.

Enjoy a Cape Cod sunrise or sunset – Bring a blanket, some snacks and get yourself a front-row seat at any one of our wonderful beaches (which are still quiet at the moment) and enjoy the sounds of nature waking up as the light begins to dawn on the horizon, and the sun begins its slow rise on a new day. On the flipside, watching the pinks, yellows and deep purples of a beautiful sunset is equally breathtaking.

Look for ospreys – Ospreys are one of the most common large birds of prey on the Cape, and one of the first species of migratory birds to return to the area each spring. Their nests, which are quite large, can be found atop tall poles close to beaches, coastlines and wetlands all around the Cape where the hunting is good.

Take a nature walk – The parks and conservation areas around the Cape are not yet congested with summer campers and visitors, and can offer the perfect opportunity right now for nature lovers to lace up those hiking boots and hit the trails. Breathe deeply as you listen to the sounds of the trees around you, and as you once again become one with nature.

Count herring – As odd as this may sound, it is an actual thing. The annual herring run is happening right now and volunteers help count the river herring that flow into Buzzards Bay each spring. Volunteers help install fish counters, record daily numbers and help the fish along, when needed, by removing debris from the passageways. The herring are considered a vital source of food for sport fish, such as striped bass, as well as water birds.

Visit a vernal pool – Vernal pools are depressions that appear each spring as snowmelt and rain create wide, shallow ponds in the woods. Because they dry up by summertime, spring is the best time to visit these interesting habitats that may contain translucent amphibian eggs, spotted salamanders, and other small species. As they are particularly delicate, they should only be viewed from their edges.

Go for a ride – The bike trails around the Cape are famous for their views, and what better way to enjoy the scenery? There are dozens of bike paths and each one offers its own unique opportunity to explore nature. Coast over sloping hills or get lost on beachside trails as you soak in the quiet beauty of the region.

Visit the Islands – You can easily hop on a ferry and be on the Vineyard or Nantucket in no time in the spring. There you’ll find shopping, people-watching, great food, great beaches and dazzling sunsets. It’s the perfect way to spend a day.

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.
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