ShareThis Page

Saturday essay: Spring by the dozens

| Friday, March 8, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

The winds blew and the snowflakes fell. Yet the robins still came by the dozens Saturday last.

And not even temperatures in the 20s could keep them away from the irresistible treats that lay before them — the overly ripe late-winter fruits of the crab apple tree cantilevered over the back deck.

Perhaps they knew of the coming “snowquester” and were stocking up.

The robins, full of chirp and puff, the latter a mechanism to create body-warming air pockets, unwittingly worked in tandem. Above, those raiding the branches for their shriveled yet still tasty bounty kept those below well stocked with falling fruit.

The occasional dog or cat that sauntered by the patio door to see what all the ruckus was about frequently sent the robins off to their safe haven in the deep interiors of a tall blue spruce that stands guard over the crab apple. But their retreats became less frequent as they realized the Maginot Line of argon-filled double-paned glass would hold.

Late-winter robins are not an anomaly; they typically are the first members of family thrush to return in advance of spring. But they had been in shorter and shorter supply the last few years as cardinals and common grackles came into predominance throughout Catalpa Place Flats. And it's nice to have them back.

One robin is said not to make a spring. But a dozen thrice certainly is a good bet.

— Colin McNickle

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.