We saw our first robin on Thursday March 11, 2021. She was strutting around in the back yard, picking at the dead grass, and no doubt getting ready to build a nest. It is one of the first signs of Spring, along with more hours of daylight, winds coming out of the South, the ice on Lake Tomah getting grayer each day, and the buds on the maple trees swelling. We also noticed the return of the mourning doves.
An annual ritual at our house: Get the Spree (small motorcycle) running, pack a pruning cutter, and motor on Fairgrounds Road (Hwy CM) that runs on the south side of Lake Tomah to cut some pussy willows, bring them home and set them in a vase of water. The 6 sedum plants on the north side of the house are poking through.
I harken back to the days on the farm in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. The long, long “V” formation of honking geese heading north into Canada was a good sign of Spring. The Scheckel farm was smack in the middle of the Mississippi River flyway.
The barn swallows would appear. They were graceful flyers. They started building their mud nests clinging to the rafters in the Small Barn. The meadowlarks were seen in the fields. And although they stayed around all winter, the cardinals started singing, which they did not do all winter. Well, I could understand why. Who feels like singing when you’re freezing your feathery fanny?