Looking for Signs of Spring While Missing My Students

When I was a teacher of English Language Learners, every spring I would take my students on a walk to look for signs of spring. It was the best way to teach them to look closely, examine and record what they had seen. It was also a great way to teach them new vocabulary. I miss those outings, so in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I took a walk in the park to search for signs of spring.

These wine-red buds announce the pending arrival of Spring.

More buds. In fact, everything in the park was in bud.

There were even budding pussy willows on the bank of the pond.

Still in search of green I came across these shoots bursting out of the snow…

and these….

A little farther on the path around the pond, I found some unexpected green.

After a quick chat with the man in the green hat, I moved on.
I cam across this tiny little sign of spring parked on the path. Its owner was birdwatching with her dad.

There were definite signs of spring in the pond. The geese and the ducks were very animated today. The winter ducks haven’t yet left the pond which made me happy since I enjoy them so much in the dead of winter. The swans have abandoned the nest they began to make when it was unseasonably warm a few weeks ago. I’m sure they’ll soon be building another. I spotted one turtle in the pond, but he was crawling on the muddy bottom, not available for a photo shoot.

I found very little green on my search, but spring is popping out all over despite the recent snowstorm. I drove home, satisfied with what I had seen, but still missing the kids.

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36 thoughts on “Looking for Signs of Spring While Missing My Students”

    1. Thank you for such a welcoming response to my post today. I had fun taking the pictures. My daughter and I have been following the geese, swans and many kinds of ducks all winter in this pond. It’s our way of experiencing nature even in winter. We love our winter walks.

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  1. I love the way you structured this with commentary alongside the images. I am going to try that for one of my posts. Thanks. BTW, spring is buried under so much snow.

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    1. I’d like to take credit for that idea but I can’t. It’s been used many times on this website by many talented teacher/writers. I decided to “borrow” the format because it suited my purpose…to take a virtual walk in search of signs of spring. Yes, we’ve been dealing with a few late snowstorms, too, here in the northeast, but LI , where I live has not gotten the brunt of it.
      Hope spring is coming your way soon 🙂

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    1. It was a sunny, cold day. My daughter and I sat on a bench for quite awhile soaking up whatever sun we could before the next round of snow which is supposed to happen today. I think the pink bicycle was my favorite sign of spring also!

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    1. A great observation about that bicycle! You are right…subconsciously I probably was thinking about children. The pinkness of that tiny bike was such a sweet contrast to the cold whiteness of the park landscape. Yes, they really did love those walks, and so did I.

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  2. Thank you for the walkabout … the images were lovely. Think of it this way: we were with you, wandering about, in search of Spring. When you find it, send it my way, won’t you?
    Kevin

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    1. I love the word walkabout and its original meaning: a time during adolescence in a primitive society that helps the adolescent transition into maturity. But I also liked your use of it since I was really on a search, or a hunt, if you will. I’ll do what I can to get Spring headed your way.

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  3. I, too, have been looking for signs of spring. We had so many before the last snow. Now I fear that some of my signs of spring will not bloom this year. I loved going on this walk with you, and I thought it was clever the way youm wove in all the photos to make us feel like we were there taking the walk with you!

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    1. The post kind of wrote itself as I followed the circular walk around the pond in our local park. So the structure of the walk actually dictated the structure of the post. It’s fun to write when that happens. Glad you enjoyed the walk. I had a feeling many Slicers were ready for an almost-spring walk!

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    1. My daughter and I have been able to take walks throughout the winter, which thankfully wasn’t too severe. This has allowed us to become aware of even the slightest changes over the winter such as when “new” winter ducks arrived in our harbor. It’s been fun. Hope your snow doesn’t last too much longer.

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    1. My students were most engaged when we were doing something concrete, immersed in the real world. This could be a spring or fall walk, learning about an American holiday, making a greeting card, or talking about their lives. I loved seeing how engaged they would become in such circumstances.

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    1. It’s rough when the biggest and worst storms come in early spring just when we are all poised for a change in seasons. As one of my commentors said today, it’s about mindfulness and paying attention to the subtle changes.

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  4. Barbara, I am glad that you have found signs of spring on your side of Long Island. Mine must be hidden under the snow. Might you be interested in sharing some of your signs of spring mixed in the snow for my winter gallery? I am designing it this weekend if you are interested. There is a link at my blog site to the Winter Wonder invitation.

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  5. The new buds on trees with the snow in the background creates quite a contrast. I love how your search for spring wasn’t just looking at nature but also signs that the humans are celebrating moments of spring too.

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  6. It’s nice to come to your post after others have commented and you have commented in return. So much grows from your words. Nature is the best teacher. I can imagine how you are missing your students. Thank you for sharing your walk with us.

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  7. I like the take you used in photo essay format. I can smell spring here in Michigan although it snowed today, and we were teased a few weeks ago with temps in the 50’s and 60’s. I only hope I can see the signs you saw soon.

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