Even though early morning temperatures have dropped quite rapidly during the last few days, spring has definitely arrived in the Czech Republic! Yesterday, I took a little morning hike to one of the natural wonders in Bohemian Karst Nature reserve: Bubovice waterfalls. In spite of the name, they have been dry for nearly the last three years. But the hike from Srbsko village train station is easy, it is more like a 3 km nature walk with no climb. The ground is rough, but the path itself is wide enough to comfortably accommodate groups of chatting hikers. Just be aware that due to its easy access and vicinity to Prague, it can get quite crowded during the weekends. But wherever and whenever you go hiking, I am sure you will find your own 10 signs of spring in the Czech Republic.
After stepping out of the train station in Srbsko village, while crossing the river Berounka, there is a breathtaking view over the longest karst valley of the Czech Republic. Then, 10 minutes walk is needed to cross the village to get to the forest. And what natural wonders are waiting on this hiking trail these days?
Yes, the sign. Signs in nature are very important! This one tells you that you are in the National Nature Reserve. Always indicated by the big emblem of the Czech Republic, which consists of two Bohemian lions and Moravian and Silesian eagles. One of things you are definitely not allowed to do in those areas (except in designated spots) is camping.
But Czechs do.
Red dead nettle. Yes this nettle does not sting you! This flower was used for its inflammatory effects in traditional medicine.
Early spring blossoming tree – wild plum tree. This blossom appears before leaves and start losing their petals very quickly. So if you want to see the Czech landscape in white blossom, now is the time to get outside!
The Common Maple. One of three original maples in Czech nature and the smallest one of them. Very common in Cesky Kras nature reserve, as it is a typical specie for lowlands in Czechia.
The Lesser Periwinkle. This little bush is creeping on the ground and with its blue blossoms creates dark green – blue carpets in Czech forests at this time of the year. Back in the past the infusion from this plant was used for lowering blood pressure.
Corydalis. You will see this flower everywhere while hiking through forests of Bohemian Karst this time of the year. But again, it blossoms only before trees fully develop their leaves, so if you want to see literally flowering carpets of this plant, hurry up!
The Spindle Tree. One of a few poisonous bushes in Czechia and very common in Bohemian Karst. It still needs some time before it develops its blossom, and then the result of its abundant pink blossom in the contrast with the greenery around is breathtaking!
The European Elder belongs among those that start shooting its leaves in early spring in the Czech Republic, but it comes into blossom late at the end of May or beginning of June. The blossom is used as an infusion even today and its elderberries for syrups, good for coughs!
The Hornbeam. The wood of this tree species is one of the hardest in Czechia and is very abundant in Bohemian Karst.
The Small Pasque Flower. For me, this is a true messenger of spring in the Czech Republic. It is critically endangered specie in this country, but I was always relieved to find it in a few localities in quite abundant numbers. However, this is the only one flourishing in a locality where there were dozens of them last year! So if you bump into this specie while hiking through the meadows of Bohemian Karst at this time of the year, watch where you step please. Thank you! So that’s my 10 signs of spring in the Czech Republic. Wherever you will be hiking, enjoy!