A Few Recalcitrant Robins

The cold weather continues. And for the third day in a row I visit the Cowling Arboretum for a short afternoon hike. It's sunny and a few degrees above freezing at 3 pm. This morning, however, the temperature dipped to -10 degrees F and as a result there's even less open water than yesterday. The number of Mallards congregating in the flowing water of the creek has increased or it's the same number more concentrated. Jagged ice flows, jammed and jumbled at the confluence of two swift channels in the Cannon River, give the scene a truly arctic cast. And at one point amid slabs of frozen water tilted vertically forming white and blue fins a black branch juts up as though some explorer had planted it there. I take a second look half expecting to see a flag attached at the top.

Across the main channel, arrayed along the lip of ice edging the moving water, a flock of American Robins perches and drinks. I'm always a little surprised to see these birds midwinter. But then again I do see them most winters here in Northfied. According to The Birds of Minnesota (1932) by T. S. Roberts, Robins do winter in Minnesota "in limited numbers, chiefly in sheltered places, in the southern part of the state." So while the vast majority have moved on to warmer climes, a recalcitrant few tough it out here in the north.

Here are a few apt lines by Welsh poet Gillian Clarke from her winterish collection, Ice (2012), and the poem 'Winter':

The river froze, and broke, and froze,
its heart slowed in its cage,
the moon a stone
in its throat.
Publicado por scottking scottking, 07 de janeiro de 2017, 03:56 AM

Observações

Fotos / Sons

What

Bardana-Maior (Arctium lappa)

Observador

scottking

Data

Janeiro 6, 2017 03:23 PM CST

Descrição

Common Burdock
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

What

Tordo-Americano (Turdus migratorius)

Observador

scottking

Data

Janeiro 6, 2017 03:00 PM CST

Descrição

American Robin
Cowling Arboretum
Northfield, Minnesota

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