こんにちは!
江戸川区葛西にて、英会話教室を運営しております ケンブリッジ英会話 です!!
本日の記事はDarrenが担当しております。

April Showers, May flowers
という言葉があり、4月は雨が多くお天気が変わりやすい時期です。それが終わり5月になるといろんな花が一斉に咲きます。
イギリスで、春を告げる兆しとして、主なものを紹介します。


In Japan we have Hanami parties to celebrate the spring, how about in the U.K?
In the UK. Spring is preceded by what is known as ‘April Showers’. As the weather warms up and the days become longer the jet stream moves north bringing with it more rain and changing weather patterns. Perhaps you are familiar with the term ‘4 seasons in one day’.  This is particularly evident in the months of March and April in the UK. There is even a short poem dating back to the mid 1500’s, which goes “April showers bring May flowers”. Unfortunately, this rainy and changeable weather means that planning outdoor parties or events under the blossoming trees can be quite difficult, and we need to be prepared for all weather conditions which can spoil our best made plans.


イギリスで、春を告げる兆しとして、主なものを紹介します。

Snowdrops マツユキソウ

Daffodils スイセンBluebells イングリッシュ・ブルーベルRobins コマドリ 胸が赤いので、redbreastともいいます。
Blackbirdクロウタドリ Thrushes つぐみ  Skylark ファミレスじゃないですよ!ひばりのことです。

Butterflies 蝶
Bumblebees マルハナバチ

Squirrel

Squirrels リス。小型で赤いのと大きくて灰色のがいます。赤いのが在来種で、灰色が外来種です。とてもフレンドリーで餌をあげると寄ってきます。tame は、人に慣れているという意味で、反対語はwild になります。

花や生き物は、日本で馴染みのないものも色々ありますね。


So what can we see in the U.K. to remind us it’s the spring?
Flowers

  • Snowdrops

Delicate snowdrops appear in the UK from January to early March. While they are often quickly buried in snow, these lovely nodding white flowers hint that the dark days and long nights of winter will soon be drawing to a close.

  • Daffodils

Lovely, cheering daffodils start blooming from February to early April. Bursting with the promise of sunny days just around the corner, these joyful yellow flowers blossom from late February to early April.

  • Bluebells

Apparently, over half of the world’s population of bluebells can be found in the U.K. Bluebells grow in areas that have lots of trees, such as forests and woods throughout the U.K. There are delightful carpets of blue cover our woodlands throughout late April and May. They are considered one of our greatest spring treasures. Some of the top bluebell viewing spots are Blickling Estate in Norfolk, Hardcastle Crags in West Yorkshire or Lanhydrock in Cornwall.
Birds, Insects and Animals

  • Birdsong

Singing us into spring, the birds really get going with their morning melodies by early March as they seek to attract mates and defend their territories. The early-worm-catchers are the skylarks, song thrushes, robins and blackbirds whereas smaller birds such as wrens and warblers seem to stay in bed until it’s a bit warmer in the late spring.

  • Butterflies

Big, bright and fluttering in a woodland ride or garden near you, the Brimstone butterfly which is a buttery yellow color is commonly seen. It is thought to be the whole reason butterflies have ‘butter’ in their names. They are among the first insects seen flying in spring and they can be seen on warm days in March.

  • Bumblebees

There are many kinds of bees in the U.K. and although not as big as in Japan they are generally not aggressive.  The warmth of the sun will soon be awakening our queen bumblebees, who will need plenty of nectar in March and April to recharge their batteries as they go hunting new places to start a colony. When she has found a suitable nest, the queen makes a mound of pollen and secreted wax into which she lays her first brood of eggs.

  • Squirrels

There are 2 main types of squirrels in the U.K. The smaller and rarer Red Squirrel, and the larger Grey Squirrel.  Although they can be spotted throughout the year, these bushy-tailed creatures come to life as winter recedes and can be spotted foraging on the ground or roaming through the treetops. They are often quite tame in parks and will come down to people for offered food. Some of the top spots in the U.K. for viewing squirrels is BrownseaIsland in Dorset or Ton in Northumberland.


春のお祭りやイベントもたくさんあります。長くて暗い冬が終わったお祝いです。イギリスでは冬はとても日が短くて、午後4時ごろには暗くなります。逆に夏は夜10時ぐらいまで明るくて、仕事が終わった後にスポーツしたり外食したり、楽しいことをたくさんします。
アスパラガス摘みや、羊の赤ちゃんを見に行く、なんていうのは日本ではあまり経験できないことなので、春にイギリスに行かれることがあれば是非体験してみてください!


Other U.K events?
Here is an English list of some of the more well-known events to see in the spring:
Courtesy of theguardian.com

  • GO DOLPHIN-SPOTTING

The Moray Firth in Scotland is one of the best places in the UK to see dolphins in their natural habitat. New calves can be seen playing in the water close to their mothers. Eco Ventures runs boat trips that offer the chance to see seals and porpoises as well as dolphins. Cardigan Bay is another location for dolphin-spotting, with frequent sightings from May onwards.

  • ROLL AN EGG

The tradition of egg-rolling dates back to Victorian times, and in Avenham Park in Preston there is an exhibition about the history of one of spring’s most curious sports. The Egg Rolling Fair (preston.gov.uk)

  • WATCH A PUPPET SHOW

The Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival on 11 May has Punch and Judy shows, folk music and dancing. The fayre celebrates the birthday of Mr Punch, recorded in the 1662 diary of Samuel Pepys.

  • SING A FOLKSONG

The Holmfirth Festival of Folk runs from 8-10 May, with musicians and bands performing at the site and at pubs around the town. Many of the gigs are free and there is a programme of street theatre and entertainment.

  • SEE A BATTLE

Re-enactments by companies such as The Sealed Knot are an essential part of spring fairs around the country. The Spring Fair at Highnam Court in Gloucestershire hosts the Sealed Knot on 26 April along with live music, classic cars, morris men and a stone-carving festival.

  • BLOSSOM

Spring is the time to catch the all-too-brief spectacle of cherry and plum trees in full blossom. Brogdale , home of the National Fruit Collection in Kent, holds (weather dependent) cherry blossom walks, while the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire has blossom trail walks, coach tours and bike rides throughout April

  • HAVE A GARDEN PARTY

For bright, blowsy beauty, you can’t beat the rhododendrons and azaleas that explode into colour in May. For the best displays in Wales, head to Colby Woodland in Pembrokeshire, which also has a stunning collection of magnolias. Owned by the National Trust, it is just one of their gardens that hit their floral peak in the early spring.

  • PICK ASPARAGUS

St George’s Day (23 April) is officially the start of the English asparagus season, which runs for approximately eight weeks. Two months of festivities kick off on the 23rd in the Vale of Evesham heart of asparagus country. Many ‘Pick Your Own’ farms open at the end of April for asparagus season.

  • STOCK UP ON A SUPERFOOD

Watercress packs in 15 vitamins and minerals, and has been eaten for its health-giving properties since ancient times. In Alresford, in Hampshire, it is celebrated with a festival on 17th May. There will be a huge food market with over 50 local producers, and plenty of themed recipes including watercress pesto, scones and chocolates.

  • TRY A GLASS OR TWO

English Wine Week runs from 23-31 May, with vineyards offering tastings and open days, and restaurants and pubs offering special menus to complement local vintages. Denbies in Surrey has wine-making days, while in London is offering free tastings of English wines as part of the ticketed tour.

  • VISIT A FOOD FESTIVAL

The first of the major food festivals happens in April; the Exeter Festival of Southwest Food and Drink runs from 17-19 April  overseen by renowned chef Michael Caines, with dozens of local producers, demonstrations, master-classes and live music in the evenings. In May, food festival season really gets going; Newcastle and Gateshead (2-17 May).

  • FISH FOR YOUR SUPPER

Late April and early May sees the start of the sea-fishing season, when mackerel and bass come into the warmer waters. The Dorset coast is the ideal choice for a family fishing trip, with mackerel an easy catch even for first-time anglers. Further out to sea, cod, conger, skate and pollock can also be reeled in. In Cornwall the trout season began on 1 April, with the river Fowey and the East and West Looe rivers all teeming with fish.

  • MEET NEW-BORN LAMBS

Let children get involved with feeding newborns. Pennywell Farm  in Devon lets children get close with lambs, goat kids and chicks while Bocketts Farm Park  in Surrey has an average of 10 ewes lambing each day, so children can see the lambs take their first steps. At Cannon Hall Farm (in North Yorkshire, the fields will be full of more than 500 new lambs and 100 goat kids).
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