Desert peaches, or prunus andersonii, are in bloom this April in the Eastern Sierra foothills. © ESLT

Across California and beyond, the birds are singing and flowers are blooming. As we all continue to #StayHome, we can find grounding and gratitude in the signs of the changing seasons. Are you and your little ones noticing them in the nature near your home?

Studies show that nature’s healing power is real, and powerful. And its power is felt by every member of your family.

With these virtual tools to help you explore nature’s changing seasons in depth, you can boost feelings of peace and well-being, in addition to focus and optimism. Even if all you can do is walk outside and enjoy the fresh air, that is all you need to enjoy countless benefits. So, let’s get out there! What signs of spring are you seeing in your neighborhood?


Evening Grosbeak

1. Birds are chirping

You might even be able to hear spring through a closed window, before you open your eyes in the morning. As the days become lighter and warmer, the chorus of birdsong is growing stronger.

In the Eastern Sierra, migratory shorebirds like sandpipers, gulls, ibis, and stilts are beginning to appear at local Audubon-designated Important Bird Areas like ESLT’s Black Lake Preserve. This is only a stop for them in their long journeys.

If you live in the Eastside:

  • Did you see our Eastern Sierra Bird Call Bingo? Play this game to see just how many different visitors you have in your backyard!
  • You can also check out a visual list of the ten most common backyard birds and raptors in the Eastern Sierra here.

Anywhere you live:

  • Your little ones will love National Audubon Society’s week-by-week exploratory lessons called “Audubon Adventures.” Check them out here.


An Inyo County Start Tulip, © University of California, Berkeley.

2. Bulbs are blooming

Our hillsides are turning colorful and vibrant, as bright green shoots appear in our yards and gardens. In the Eastside, we’re starting to see desert peaches, spreading phlox, asters, and much more poking from the mountainsides. What are you seeing in your neighborhood? Have flowers sprung up in your gardens?

If this spring is calling you to plant and cultivate a “Victory Garden” made up of your favorite flowers, vegetables, or herbs, try out these resources.

If you live in the Eastside:

If you live anywhere in California:


3. Butterflies, bees, and bats are thriving

Our flowers bloom each year thanks to our pollinator population – at least 80% of the world’s flowering plants and a third of our food supply depending on pollinators. You might be noticing more of these fluttering friends around your neighborhood right now.

But their populations are in danger, due to disease, pesticides, and the loss of open spaces. You can help them and your local birds by planting native plants in your garden.

If you live in the Eastside:

  • We can help! You can sign up to participate remotely this year in our Eastside Pollinator Garden Project. We’ll help you get your garden started and blooming from afar.

Anywhere you live:


4. Creeks are rushing

The Eastern Sierra saw a Miracle March! Over 80 inches of snowfall was measured at Mammoth Mountain’s Main Lodge during the month of March, and it hasn’t ended yet. April has seen 52 inches and counting.

With both additional snowfall and warmer weather, water is rushing into our creeks and streams. If there’s a stream near you, make sure to schedule some for sitting and listening this spring.

Source: Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

A monarch caterpillar crawling on a flowering milkweed plant. © Cathy Keifer


While we can protect our neighbors by staying six feet away from others while exploring, we can still go home and connect virtually with other nature-lovers in our communities near and far. Snap a photo and tag @EasternSierraLandTrust on Instagram to share your #StayHomeStory and be featured.

This spring season is bringing us signs of renewal and brighter days ahead. By slowing down and taking them in, and you’ll naturally cultivate feelings of peace and joy. Let’s find solace in remembering that the rhythms of nature are marching steadily on.

Read more about the psychological benefits of nature.