| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Saturday essay: Spring by the dozens

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Mon-Yough Tuesday takes
  2. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  3. Greensburg Tuesday takes
  4. The wind ruse: A failed policy
  5. Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
  6. The Export-Import Bank: The Senate’s shame
  7. Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
  8. At the VA: The waiting dead
  9. U.N. Watch: The ‘race’ is on
  10. Grabbing guns: Obama overreach?
  11. The Box