Outdoors blog: What's that sound?
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
What's that sound?
I stepped outside early today to feed the dog and heard something I haven't heard in several months -- a robin singing. He was all cranked up, letting the world know he was back and ready to set up nesting territory. I didn't go looking for him. It was enough to know he was there -- a week or so before the usual influx of robins.
Robins are common enough critters. They're not as handsome as male cardinals. Their call is not as dramatic as that of a common loon. But that first morning you step outside or open a window and hear a robin, especially after a northern winter, you have to stop in your tracks and listen. OK, you think. Spring.
That today happened to dawn clear and warm merely added to the effect of the moment.
This comes on the heels of a splendid Sunday, the first day of sun after five days of drip, drizzle, fog and rain. A friend and I made a bicycle ride along the North Shore from Duluth to beyond the French River. We were among throngs who made their way to the lakeshore. Every river was pulsing tannin-stained water into Lake Superior. Anglers stood or sat all along the shore, trying to catch a trout or a salmon. A couple trolled out on the lake in boats. We saw a kayaker and two canoeists. Many other bikers pedaled up and down the scenic highway -- and let's hear it for the city crews (I'm assuming) who swept sand and grit from the shoulders all the way to the McQuade Small Craft Harbor.
Other folks walked dogs, ran, picnicked, climbed on rocks, threw rocks into the lake and otherwise soaked up the sun and warmth. I'm sure some people traveled up to Gooseberry Falls State Park, where the falls must have been spectacular with runoff. I don't know that I've ever seen so many people crawling around on the shore in a single day -- well, if you leave out Grandma's Marathon.
We needed that. We needed the sun after a week of slop. We needed the warmth. We needed blue vistas. We needed to feel legs pumping oxygen-rich blood through our veins.
And Monday, we needed one robin, singing its heart out.