Signs of spring. They’re all around us right now. What comes to mind when you think of spring.
For many it’s the transformation of a brown hillside into a canopy filled with multiple shades of green.
Many recognize the transition from winter to spring by the increase in daylight seen on a daily basis.
It can be the appearance of a rainbow of color as flowers and trees begin to bloom.
The urge to swap a snow shovel for a rake and mittens for gardening gloves qualifies.
It can be a shift in the weather pattern, as days warm and precipitation changes from frozen to just liquid.
Wardrobe choices change with the seasons. Jeans are frequently replaced by shorts, tank tops and T-shirts take the place of long-sleeve shirts and stocking hats give way to ball caps.
For sports fans, such as the two I work with, it’s the return of baseball.
Those who watch wildlife know a sign of spring is when birds and animals begin to pair off. And while I’m not one who closely follows the mating patterns of birds in my neighborhood, it’s hard to step outside and not notice doves cooing and the sound of cardinals chirping as they stake out their territorial claims. As for robins, it’s interesting to watch as one male robin does his best to drive potential suitors away from his beaked beloved.
That brings me to the point of today’s column. A little after 7 a.m. last Friday the phone rang at my home.
Typically a call at that time of day either means something has blown up, blown over or burned down and I need to get there quickly. However, in this case it was my next door neighbor, Michelle, who wanted to give me a “news tip.”
After apologizing for the early call, Michelle encouraged me to go take a peek out my back door. She laughed as she told me what I was going to see: A robin apparently attempting to woo my four-door Buick.
Michelle shared that she and her husband, Larry, had watched the robin for approximately 30 minutes the evening before as it hopped and fluttered on the dirty car.
I opened the blinds and sure enough there was the robin. And it quickly became apparent that the bird wasn’t as interested in the car as it was in its own reflection.
It would flutter against the windshield and the car’s front-seat windows. At other times it would land on a windshield wiper and peck its image.
Thinking it would make for a fun video to post on the Courier-Post’s Web site, I broke out my camera and went out the front door in the hope of being light-footed enough that I’d be able to creep up on the love-struck robin without disturbing it. Of course the second I appeared from around the corner of my house the robin’s demeanor changed. Quicker than you could say “hey bird brain” it had left my yard.
Page 2 of 2 - Because I was in the process of getting ready for work, I didn’t have a lot of time to spend waiting outside for the robin to return. But almost as quickly as I went back in the house, the robin returned.
I managed to shoot a little video of it sitting on a side mirror before it went to chase off another robin that had the audacity to land two yards away.
To be honest, I’m not sure if the bird was in love with itself, or viewed its reflection as a rival. If love indeed was in the air, I wouldn’t have had the heart to tell it that it was pursuing a romance doomed to fail. And like most humans hit by Cupid’s arrow, it probably wouldn’t have listened.