Seasons in the Forest

SPRING comes into the forest step by step.

1

 March seems to be taking after winter, while in fact nature is getting more and more dynamic. Warmer days make snow melt. Forest is dappled with dark water puddles. Tits break the winter-like silence. The sky becomes a highway for flocks of geese and cranes with all their hubbub. Sometimes birds fly low enough to hear the flutter of their wings. First lapwings appear in the fields. Soon they are followed by larks and starlings with their songs. 

The sun shines brighter every day. Buds come  out, swell and start bursting open. The forest looks as if muffled with greenish mist. The bottom of the forest is covered with liverworts and anemones. Lesser celandine, corydalis and golden saxifrage are in bloom. Ferns start to roll out their leaves. Birds’ arrivals become more and more numerous. Their singing can be heard everywhere. In the country  the first storks can be seen. Insects wake. Mosquitoes start being a nuisance.

Meadows are full of colours and are most lush before the first hay-making at the turn of May and June. Croaking of frogs echoes in the evening air.

Gradually spring gives way to summer.

 

SUMMER in the forest and its vicinity is the time of abundance.

2

Space is crammed with leaves, grass and herbs. It seems that it could be possible to drown in the sea of plants. First fruit begin – wild strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Honey is ready and available for sale.

On hot days meadows and fields smell with grain and herbs, and pine woods – with resin. Slowly, birds stop singing. They lay eggs and soon will have to take care of their hatchlings.

Activity of insects is at its highest. The forest is filled with their buzz. Lots of butterflies, moths, beetles, bees, wasps and flies appear. After sunset bats go on a hunt, taking advantage of this multitude.

Bisons and deer seek refuge from the heat in tree shadow. Periods of their activity are dawn and dusk, when they graze on the forest meadows and clearings.

With rains first mushrooms come out – royal boletes, chanterelles but also toadstools and many others that bewilder with their shapes and colours.

At the end of summer heather start blooming, and birds, for example hoopoe or oriole, fly away.

 

AUTUMN sneaks in already in August.

3

Harvest is its first token. Nights start getting colder, and in September ground-frost begins.

Fields and meadows are full of Indian summer. Trees change colours into yellows and browns. The forest looks very picturesque, as if gilded by the low sun. Fallen leaves float on the surface of marshes and rivers. Air smells with mushrooms, as autumn is the time of plenty. Trees and bushes are in fruit – wild pear trees or blackthorn, but also other, typically forest trees like oaks, hornbeams or hazel. Seeds fall down and animals feed on them. Wild boars gorge on acorns, jays look for nuts and squirrels store snacks for winter.

In September male deer roar in the morning and evening and compete for females. The forest echoes with their call, which can be heard for kilometres.

Birds’ migration is in full swing. Once again lapwings and also European golden plovers appear in the fields. Many other interesting species can also be observed.

November is the month that combines autumn and winter. Usually it is also the month of first snow.

 

WINTER is a period of rest.

4

The world becomes white. Snow is marked with all kinds of traces. Trees in the forest bend down under the cap of snow. In the fields and meadows wind shapes snow-drifts. Waxwings and bullfinches come over. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, fieldfares, tits and the long-tailed ones among them roam orchards, gardens and forest thickets. Partridges winter in the fields, where guests from the North, rough-legged buzzards, hunt.

Towards the end of winter wolves’ breeding season begins, and with some luck, it is possible to hear them howl.

January and the beginning of February are usually the coldest months with temperature falling down to -25 or even -30 degrees Celsius. The end of February, however, brings about the promise of spring. When weather gets milder hazels blossom. Slowly and secretly nature starts coming back to life.

 


Europejski Fundusz Rolny na rzecz Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich. Europa inwestująca w obszary wiejskie. Projekt współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach osi 4 Leader. Program Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich na lata 2007-2013. Projekt zrealizowany przez Stowarzyszenie Metamorphosis. Instytucja zarządzająca Programem Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich na lata 2007-13 Minister Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi