Thursday, March 3, 2016

Robins for Breakfast

Dozens of robins settled in for breakfast this week. Early in the morning they scuttled around the yard looking for worms wriggling to the soil surface. 

Not for the first time, I wished for a good camera and the expertise to use it. This just doesn't convey their numbers.  They mostly hopped along the ground, occasionally flying low a few feet to where the pickin's looked better. 

Curious about the behavior, I learned that robins cluster like this as they move north. They migrate in stages, prompted to move on by the air and ground temperatures. 

Thus I can use their appearance in the early spring as an indication of warming soil, similar to how forsythia blooms when the ground temperature is about 55 degrees. Forsythia bushes are like a garden alarm. Once you see the yellow flowers, it's time to do some other garden chores.

Now I know to watch for the robins, then the forsythia, then the crabgrass.
It can't be long now, so get ready! 

What are your favorite signs of spring? 


  1. In this part of the country, the dogwood and redbud trees burst into bloom. Trees densely covered in white or pink blooms. It's beautiful! And we have bunches of robins, too.

  2. Sherry, when do your redbuds bloom? Thanks for commenting.

    1. In west TX, it's pretty common to get a late spell of cold weather shortly before Easter, no matter whether it falls in late March or in April. The dogwoods and redbuds usually burst out in bloom right after that.

      This year, it's been so mild the past two months that everything is way ahead of schedule. The trees have been blooming for a week now - at least 3 weeks before they should. My rose bushes are growing like crazy but not blooming yet. If we do get a hard freeze, all the new growth will be killed. I'm hoping this year is unusual. But then that might mean an early, hot summer.


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