Just prior to the first day of spring, I was heading out the front door when I gasped in delight to discover some yellow crocuses in full bloom. They were the only sign of life in our front garden bed so this was a rather thrilling discovery. Thrilling enough to head back indoors and snatch up one of my dear one’s i-Pods to capture the moment of truth; that being, spring is here!
A few weeks back, a friend from Tennessee sent me the happiest of spring-like cards, hand-made, and full of cheer. It tickled me so much as I recall making many of the same type of cards in our years down south using Ed Emberley’s, Fingerprint Drawing Book. You’ll honestly not believe how much fun, as well as how easy, it is to finger stamp these images. It has motivated me to pull the book out again and find time (ha!) to make some birthday cards.
And to welcome spring in our home, I simply bought spring flowers and placed them in each room the night before the official first day of spring so that everyone would awake to spring in our abode. I knew it was to be rather cold out for the first day of spring, so we could at least fake the warmth with indoor pots of flowers. In previous years we’ve painted flower pots, made flower pot ice cream treats, mixed and decorated stepping stones for the garden, potted some herbs, and enjoyed a first day of spring lunch together with friends. If you want to take a peek at those spring crafts and ideas, click here.
This year we decided on a first day of spring walk at Ball’s Fall’s Conservation Area, part of the Niagara Escarpment. Though it was a chilly day out, the sun was shining, and we were all very much in the mood to get outdoors and look for signs of spring.
Ball’s Falls is a lovely property still boasting a running flour mill, alongside historic buildings, nature trails, and two lovely waterfalls. The Bruce Trail is also accessible from this property.
This is the site of the former Woolen Mill just down a stretch from the Upper Falls. The Balls brothers bought this edge of the escarpment property and developed grist, saw, and wool mills on it. But with the development of the railway and the Welland Canal in the mid 1800s there was sudden rapid growth of other villages at the bottom of the escarpment, and therefore most of what this hamlet had to offer, stopped altogether.
There’s a lovely, easy accessible trail that runs along the Twenty Mile Creek pathway to the Upper Falls. The moss covered stones and boulders were quite the attraction to two of my active kiddos.
We hiked to the Upper Falls first and took a group shot of the kids (no, that’s not them out behind the barrier beside the rushing water.) We then went back toward the village and over to the church and flour mill, located in close proximity to the Lower Falls.
It was unquestionably one of the loveliest first days of spring.