Frozen Birds of Spring

What a lovely, poetic day it was on the Trail yesterday. I never thought so many Baboons could be so moved by their cherished appliances.

Which is odd, because today is really the day for rhymes – it’s the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  Of course only the persistent strength of the sun tells us this. Look outside and you’d swear it was still winter.

Still, the urge for a nice springtime Tra-La! sends me to the seasonal rhyming dictionary.

robin

Of all the creatures seasons bring
I love the frozen birds of spring
Their frigid talons clutch the trees
They work to bend their icy knees

They set their snowy, arctic eyes
to sing an ode to slushy skies.
Though winter lingers far too long
They lift constricted throats in song

Their warbles, painfully expressed
from slushy lung and freezing breast
emerge, reluctantly, as squeaks
In polar air through frosty beaks.

These chilly chirps congeal and thud,
like hardened bricks of song-filled mud
that tumble out a brittle tune
made by a bird who came too soon.

 

When have you arrived too early?

47 thoughts on “Frozen Birds of Spring”

  1. OT: I just looked at yesterday’s forum and caught a question from you, PJ. The new man comes with so many qualities I’ve never seen in one person: PhD psychologist; professor; former therapist; published author; very fit; cat lover; 65; and actually sings Eva Cassidy’s “I Know Him By Heart” as beautifully as Eva. He’s an introvert who’s looking for a lifetime partner and someone with whom to travel. I have a hard time reading his interest in me, but we’ve had two 9-hour dates in a week. I’m touched that you remembered to ask – thank you!

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  2. Good morning. I am almost always too early out of bed. Does the early bird catch the worm? I don’t think so. It would be okay to be the early bird who catches the worm if you were a bird that liked worms. I am early, like the early bird, but I’m not looking for any worms. All I get for being the early bird is lack of sleep. At least I can stay inside and avoid becoming a frozen early bird.

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  3. I’ve taken many fishing trips when I came too soon, especially one spectacular trip to a secret steelhead river flowing from an Ontario wilderness into Lake Superior. We had to access the river by taking a 20-mile boat trip along a wilderness shore (ie, there was no help for us if we had trouble). Winter stayed late that year. Rather than fishing in spring conditions, it was icy cold and the rivers we walked in our fishing waders had snow up to our . . . up to our waists. Boating Lake Superior was terrifying because there were big icebergs floating in the water. A Mountie who saw us trying to manage the trip in our little boats told us he wanted us to wear life vests so he would have less trouble retrieving our drowned corpses (he had just been trying to retrieve the corpses of some Canadian fishermen, so he was in a sour mood). The real thrill of that trip was provided at our hotel by the stripper/prostitute whose attack on a drunk Canadian kid caused the biggest (and only) bar fight I’ve personally witnessed.The cops ran her out of Ontario the next morning. Because we had come two weeks too soon, she was the most lively thing on that fishing trip.

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    This morning I awoke AGAIN during the 2-4a.m. time slot that my genetics appear to dictate. My sister and some cousins demonstrate this pattern, too. That is way too early to wake up.

    We are back home from traveling through 4 different time zones in 2 weeks, which has really messed up my body clock. I think that is also part of the 2-4a.m. problem. 2 weeks ago we left on vacation (which was wonderful, and I will try to follow VS’s suggestion and create a travel-blog). We started in Central Standard Time and went East to Savannah, EST. that weekend DST arrived and we sprang forward an hour. Wednesday we arrived home to Central DST–we backed up one hour after springing forward 2 hours that week. Thursday we left for Phoenix–Mountain Time where they do not honor DST–2 hours BEHIND Central Time. Sunday night I arrived home at 12:30 am.

    My system is now early, late, and confused about everything. I am not tired at the proper time or hungry at a predictable time. No Spring-time worms for me. Just confusion, fatigue, and insomnia. Sigh. This will pass, right?

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  5. Morning all. My early arrivals are all planned – a favorite early arrival was the last broadcast of TLGMS. I got to the Fitzgerald about 4:45 a.m. and there were already folks in line. The MPR folks were quite kind, bringing hot cidar around to those of us in line. I got a great seat and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was sitting behind our Donna… in the balcony… center stage.

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  6. My earliest arrival was planned, but not by me. I was born a month early by C-section. I’ve been a bit unprepared for everything that’s happened since.

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  7. Early morning can be a good time of day. Here are the lyrics to Greg Brown’s song about how nice it was to be up early in the Iowa town named Early.

    One morning I walked out alone,
    I looked down the street; no one was around.
    The sun was just comin’ up over my home,
    On Hickory Street in a little farm town. And

    refrão:
    Oooo-ee, ain’t the mornin’ light pretty,
    When the dew is still heavy, so bright and early.
    My home on the range; it’s a one-horse town,
    And it’s alright with me.

    Plow broke the prairie, the prairie gave plenty,
    The little towns blossomed and soon there were many.
    Scattered like fireflies across the dark night,
    And one was called Early, and they sure named it right. ‘Cause

    refrão

    Many dry summers parched all the fields,
    They burnt the fine colors and cut down on the yield.
    But the rain has returned to wash away our tears,
    It’s the fullest green summer that
    We’ve seen for years. And

    refrão

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  8. I delivered one child 10 weeks early and threatened to deliver the other one even earlier. I used to be early for everything, but then I got married to someone who is never on time for anything.

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      1. After almost 30 years of marriage, I have resigned myself to his pokiness. I have come to realize that he isn’t capable of hurrying and underestimates the amount of time it takes to do most everything. He gets more upset when he is hurried than I get when I am waiting for him, so I just take a deep breath and try to stay calm. He is equally frustrated with himself for his chronic lateness.

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        1. I would probably be consider to be the slow one in our family. Why does everyone have to be in such a hurry?

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        2. Being slow and being late aren’t the same thing, although I can see how being one might result in the latter. I have admit I’m not the world’s most patient person with poky people either.

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        3. Renee, Jackson, Michigan is in Southern Michigan. Maybe people like your husband and I from Jackson are kind of slow moving Southerners.

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        1. Glad you’ve figured out the best way to deal with this, Renee. People who are perpetually late drive me nuts.

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    1. My wife delivered our first daughter earlier than the doctor thought was possible. It was a full term pregnancy. The early part was the short length of labor. The doctor and nurses were not there when the labor had nearly reached it’s end because most women usually take a long time to delivery their first child. I knew that my wife was close to delvering because I had been to a Lamaze class. I told the nurses it was time for them to get to work and to find the doctor. When they checked on my wife they found out I was right.

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      1. Sounds sort of like my mom – for her first, the story is that my dad dropped her off and then went to park the car. He came in and asked if he could see his wife – and was told that, no, he couldn’t see her, but he could take a look at his daughter in the nursery.

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        1. That could have happened to me if i had been slow on the day of my first daughter’s birth. I did manage to stay on top of things that day.

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  9. A few months after I had separated from wasband, while I was still reeling from the blow of a broken marriage, I was working as the bookkeeper for a small CPA firm in downtown St. Paul. I was behind in some office work and decided that I needed to go to work sometime during the weekend to catch up. This was on a Sunday afternoon, on the weekend of the start of DST, and I needed a nap before going to the office for a few hours. I fell asleep and slept soundly for what seemed like hours, and when I woke up and looked at my watch it was close to 5 o’clock i panicked. I had slept the whole night, and hadn’t made it to the office as I had intended, I quickly got dressed and caught the bus to downtown. There were few people on the bus, but I attributed that to it being early. The bank building was all closed up with security guards stationed at their posts; again I attributed that to it being so early. I got to my desk in an internal office with no windows and started working. Eight o’clock rolled around and I was making nice progress with my work, but I was wondering where everybody was. They must have all forgotten that we switched to DST this weekend I rationalized. Then Gene, one of the CPAs came strolling by and said “What are you doing here?” “What do you mean? it’s Monday morning, isn’t it?” I replied. “Sure, Margaret” he said as he went on his way. At that point I got up from my desk and opened the door to one of the outside offices and could see that it was dark outside. I had slept only a short time that afternoon, and it was still Sunday!

    The following day at the office, Gene had told everyone that I didn’t know what time or day it was or even what day of the week, and everyone was teasing me mercilessly for days

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    1. Friends shake their heads about me. I’m often early by a day, and have been early by a week. I once went to pick up a friend who was flying into the Twin Cities airport. When she didn’t show, I was furious. Three hours later I learned I was a week early. When I picked her up a week later, I was still struggling to control my anger about how late she was.

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  10. A little OT. Found this very nice quote from Margaret Atwood about spring/gardening:

    “Gardening is not a rational act. What matters is the immersion of the hands in the earth, that ancient ceremony of which the Pope kissing the tarmac is merely a pallid vestigial remnant. In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

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  11. I often arrive early for my women’s book group, because then I can hang out with the hostess before the crowd arrives, and help her finish up with preparations. But in general, you should be careful of arriving early at small gatherings, as you may get saddled with something you aren’t prepared for.

    I was born a week earler than my due date, I am told, and weighed 6 # 13 oz. Interestingly, Joel was born a week earlier than his due date, and weighed 6 # 13 oz.

    And here’s a nursery rhynme for this unfortunate Robin:
    The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
    And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
    He’ll sit in a barn and keep himself warm

    and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

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    1. Showing up early for a club meeting would be unforgivable for some hosts. But you are such a lovely non-threatening, non-judgmental person that you can bring this off. And I’m sure your help is appreciated.

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  12. I still have only winter birds: junco, nuthatch, siskin, chickadee, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, house finch, grosbeak. But it is getting feisty out there in the bird and squirrel population. The hormones are a flowing.

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    1. That is an interesting collection of winter birds, Clyde. I see most of those except for the the grosbeak and the pilieated woodpecker. I wish we would get a visit from a pilieated woodpecker. they are amazing looking birds.

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  13. Just checked the tail end of yesterday and have just read through today as well!

    Indeed, we have a puppy at our house for an unknown period of time. She will not be going up for adoption but will be returning to her “real” family as soon as their situation has stabilized and they can give her a home again. That’s about all I can say online, and no pictures, please, are my instructions from AHS.

    She is a very loving puppy, but a good bit bigger than I expected. I can’t see the basset part of her at all, maybe a bit in the face, but she is a tall, lean, muscular pup with a whippy tail.

    The boundless energy, I believe, goes without saying in this group, right?

    S&h enjoys her and the feeling is mutual. When he needs to get his homework done, he goes in his room and shuts the door, then she comes looking for me. When he sacks out on the couch to watch a movies, she is right there, all snuggled up with him.

    The s&h has already noted her similarity to most of the toddlers we know.

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  14. OT: my son has a new workmate this week with whom he works very well. They have quickly hit it off. O. S. Card’s son.

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    1. interesting blip on cards superman hiccup with the illustrator bowing out last week.
      i wasnt familiar with him so i googled him and found there is more than one way to make the news

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  15. oh yes, the actual topic of the day….

    I am told that there is a flock of robins that lives year ’round in Highland Park, fed frozen worms purchased at the Wild Bird Store by several people in the neighborhood.

    I tend to believe it, as I do seem to see robins all winter long when I am in that area-it’s that, or global warming.

    Being too early?

    I guess I always felt like I was almost too late for the s&h’s birth, as the professionals decided he needed to be born in 1998 instead of 1999 the morning of the last day of that year, so we just had to get on with it-no time for last minute preparations.

    The one camping trip on Madeline Island we took was too early. We headed up after the last day of school here. Camping here would probably have been fine, up there, tooooo early. But we did it and made the best of it (although we did feel that it really was too cold for the amount of mosquitos we had to put up with).

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    1. Robins usually show up here in Southern Minnesota about this time. I think they will be a little late this year due to the layer of snow that is still here. Also, usually the first crocus leaves might start showing up now or fairly soon, but I think they will need more time this year.

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  16. I believe this poem was featured on TLGMS and I’m not sure I have it just right. If the author was cited, I missed it. Can anyone fill in the blanks?

    Minnesota Spring
    First a mighty blizzard woke us.
    Then a rainstorm soaked us.
    Then, before the eye could focus,
    Crocus!

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    1. Very nice recall, OC. Here’s the real deal:

      “First a howling blizzard woke us,
      Then the rain came down to soak us,
      And now before the eye can focus
      Crocus.”
      Lilja Rogers

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  17. My mother is better now, but when I was a child, she (we) never arrived anywhere on time. She made up for it by staying until the “last dog was hung” or at any rate, the last dish washed, the last song sung, etc. When we left, you knew the whatever it was, was over! You can bet we never skipped out of an event early to beat the traffic.

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  18. the jungle theater may or may not let you in if you show up late. i got there once and they had given away my seat for being a couple minutes late in a rainstorm with the parking lot closed behind their place. i try not to be late but it happens i love being ten minutes early and now with all the electronic stuff in my pockets i can spend an hour lollygaging in wait for someone. i used to make all my rondezvous at a book store because i never care if someone is late as long as i have something to occupy my brain while i am waiting. today i carry the bookstore in my pocket. i get angry that my kids never sit and contemplate life but i think that is the price we pay for games i our pockets. it will be interesting to see how the effect turns out.

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  19. Orchestra Hall, when that was still an ongoing entity, would not let you in if you arrived late for the beginning of a concert. You got to cool your heels and enjoy the performance watching on big screen TV in the lobby until a natural break in the performance would allow you to be seated without disturbing other concert goers or the musicians on stage.

    But you just can’t stop people from being boors. Inevitably there would be some in the audience who toward the end of the performance would be in such a rush to avoid the crowd at the end, that they’d leave early. I’d sometime wonder why these people bothered coming to the concert at all.

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