Despite the snow, the robins returned, en masse. I have never seen them in such numbers. When I drove down the alley behind my house, five, ten, a dozen would lift off from the puddles left by melting snow. Nor had I known until then that they ate juniper berries.
A few days later they had disappeared; perhaps, having seen the errors of their ways, they had headed back south.
They are not the only birds; the day before the robins turned up, a flash of red too bright for any robin had me running for my camera. All of the pictures I fear, are equally out of focus. Anyone know what this is?
That’s a much more dramatic bird, whatever it is, than the robins, which are so obvious that they seem barely worth remarking upon, or photographing. Their sheer numbers this spring caught my attention, and I looked more closely than I ever have. I’d never known that robins’ beaks were yellow, nor that they had light circles around their eyes.
The robins are a bit like that mousy person at work whom you’ve never talked to. Then you get stuck in an elevator with her when the power goes out, and lo and behold, it turns out that she’s got some quirky opinions (she thinks ballet slippers are a silly fashion) and she’s done some interesting things (the year after she graduated from college she lived on yoghurt, eggs, and salad because she was bound and determined to see Neville Mariner direct the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields before she died (or he did), and since this entailed a trip to Europe and she was a secretary, this meant saving a lot or money on a small salary.) It doesn’t mean that you agree with her about ballet slippers, or about Neville Mariner, but that she’s no longer vague and blurred to you.
Eventually the electricity comes back on, of course. When you leave the elevator, you’re not best friends, but she’s come into focus for you.
That’s how I feel about the robins.