Sunday, February 11, 2007

Signs of spring abound

I went out to retrieve the Sunday Oregonian a little while ago, and spotted what used to be the quintessential hallmark of spring when I lived in Philadelphia - a robin redbreast. Winters were a lot more severe back east, so catching a glimpse of a robin was a really exhilerating event, one that heralded the end of boots and gloves and scarves and hats and heavy, wool jackets and the possibility that summer vacation really, truly would arrive.

Things are quite a bit different these days, for lots of reasons beyond the weather, but seeing that big, plump robin pecking away at the grass on our neighbor's front yard produced that same reaction in me -- "Wow! There are green shoots coming up all over the yard, and the buds on the rhododendron bushes seem bigger and fatter, and things are getting green everywhere I look. Yes!!"

A few days ago, I saw two, tiny buds on the fuchsia plant that's been hanging in the sun room for several months - another sign o'spring, for sure.

It's amazing, isn't it, how these tiny, seemingly inconsequential changes in one's environment, can make such a difference in one's attitude?

Or at least in this one's attitude!


mdmhvonpa said...

Hordes of robins about here in Pennsyltucky ... and we are expecting snow for the first time in quantity over the next few days. Urk. My bulbs are DOOOMED!

Libbi said...

Well, maybe not... I'm amazed, year after year, at the resilience of growing things. Think about the tiny flowers that grow in the cracks of rocky cliffs, or ice plants growing in sandy soil -- life wants to continue! Last year, it snowed on our daffodils (they're just beginning to show yellow on the top of their stems this morning) and they came through beautifully!

Lynne said...

Libbi -
I found your blog through Sean's Sharing Our Days. We are deep in winter here in Massachusetts, having had a three week cold spell with temperatures hardly passing freezing day or night. So, I am envious of your bulbs poking out . . . not here yet!

But, I have a robin story. My experience, like yours, has always been to welcome the return of the robins as a sign of spring. This winter, perhaps because it was mild into January, we have a robin who never left. I see a lot of it because I have a water garden in the back yard, frozen except for the area kept liquid by a floating water heater. My open water is much loved by the birds, and I've seen the robin drinking there almost every morning. I kept wondering what she was eating, and then I noticed that my holly berries were slowly being eaten, and some days I'd hear her singing by my bush. I'm glad I had some kind of food for her to eat!

I also saw a bluebird drinking in the water garden one day. A friend did some research, and I learned that they don't all head south in the winter, and they switch from insects to fruit when they stay north.

I'll keep looking for signs of spring - the increasing daylight is a wonderful one! - and appreciate your comments about what you see. Like you, these make a big difference in my attitude, also.

Thanks for the thoughts!
"Life Changing Cancer" at

Libbi said...

Hi, Lynne!

Thanks for stopping by (I'll check out your blog today).

It's astounding to read of a robin sighting in Massachusetts this time of year. But there's no global warming, right? ;-)