Due to a colder winter than Floridians are accustomed to, there has been much talk of the countdown until spring. Usually spring is a much bigger deal up North as opposed to down here in the South. When I worked for a national mail order nursery folks up North would go out of their minds pre-ordering for the spring. It always shocked me how much money they would spend and the excitement in their voices while I took their orders.
I haven’t really seen that kind of enthusiasm here in North Florida when it comes to spring. I usually wouldn’t here anyone talk about spring until people started noticing flowering plants in front of our local box stores. Our mild winters had made us less concerned about the arrival of spring whereas up North our winter might as well be their spring season.
However, this year has been different. I’ve seen and heard people actually counting down the days until the first official day of spring. “Spring Fever” has been infecting us ever since we had that winter storm. We’ve got excited about having a high of 50 degrees when usually we would be whining about how cold we are. It’s been interesting to see how everyone is beginning to appreciate the mild weather we have been so used to having all the time.
Typically I am pretty excited about every season, but even I have caught the spring fever. During the winter storm my husband and I laid in bed layered with clothing and piled high with blankets in anticipation for the long night without heat. As he went to sleep I was reading my book “My Friend, the Garden” by candlelight daydreaming about planting carrots in the French countryside.
They say that the first day of spring is March 20th, but in my opinion spring in North Florida begins much sooner than that. Our spring is fast and swift leaving us little time to really enjoy it because before we know it the hot summer temperatures are here. I’ve been noticing what I consider to be signals of spring’s arrival. Some of the trees I’ve noticed blooming are the Japanese Magnolia with their pink floating tulips, the Flowering Cherries with their tiny pink blossoms creating a cloud of color, and my Redbud tree has pink swollen buds ready to open. I also found two little leaves on my Mock Orange and green buds shooting up from my hydrangea bushes. All of my daffodils’ foliage have emerged and my Louisiana Iris are bright blades of green.
These have all been indicators to me that spring is just about here. Although today, I can now say without any doubt that spring is officially here. On this dreary day I had some visitors that I was so excited to see that you would have thought I was looking at a pot of gold outside my window. While I was working at my desk I happened to turn towards the window and I suddenly realized that there were at least one hundred robins in my front yard! I stopped working immediately and perched myself on the ottoman next to the window. I ever so carefully opened the wind, so I could hear them and get a picture.
When the robins come it’s only for a short duration as they are migrating back to the North. They can land in anyone’s yard, but possibly due to my lack of pesticide use they always land in mine. Every place I’ve ever lived they have always shown up. They work diligently on the ground looking for insects to suck up into their beaks.
Anything can suddenly scare them and send them on their way ending the once a year magical visit. So I simply sat there with my chin on the windowsill and watched them for as long as I could knowing any moment they would be gone again. The robin is a special bird to me because of the book “The Secret Garden”. It was the robin that led the way to the hidden door.
So as far as I am concerned the arrival of the robins indicates the arrival of spring! From here on out we will get to see all of the beautiful spring flowering trees and shrubs over the next month. It’s been a long cold winter (at least to us it has been) and I think everyone is ready for some color and warmer weather!