You know Its Spring in Boston When

How do you know its Spring in Boston?

Spring in Boston means different things to different people. To some it’s opening day at Fenway Park.  When the boys of summer come back north it must be spring, even if it snows. For others it’s the Boston Marathon, a 120 year tradition. For me we have to have the warm sunny days. And that’s just what we had on Marathon weekend.

It’s Spring so what did I see?

Taking the red line from Braintree, MA to the Park Street station in the heart of Boston is an adventure in itself. When I boarded the “T” the man seated across from me had his shoes off  and was stretched out over 3 seats. After a couple of stops he moved over to my side, still barefoot. Then he began calling out the stations. That amused him for one or two stops. After that he began trying to light things on fire with a disposable lighter. I kept a close eye on him until he finally left the train. My stop came next…Park Street.

Protesters, Police and the State House

As soon as I came up from the underground I spotted the protesters. These aren’t organized  protests but the end of the world type protesters. They always seem a little crazy to me. Today there were 3 protesters and a self appointed minister, each taking  a turn sharing their messages.

As I took in this spectacle a mob of bicyclists came flying around the corner. All decked out in their police  gear. I thought they would spread out through the Public Garden but no, they continued peddling down the path in a mass of blue and yellow.

Leaving the chaos that is Park Street behind I trekked up the hill to the State House with it’s golden dome gleaming in the sun. The various sight seeing trolleys continuously stopping to drop off and pick up tourists. A costumed narrator explained the black regiment to any and all who would listen.

On a Carousel, Fintstones and Dinos, and no lines or waiting

As I strolled on through the common I passed the Boston Carousel which was doing a splendid business.

I paused when I heard a whistle blowing , then the pounding of feet and there came a dinosaur chasing men dressed as Fred  Flintstone and women as Betty and Wilma.

Must be a Bedrock Road race.

But I got the biggest laugh when I spotted what was surrounding the playing field near the Boston Common Garage.

Row after row of Port-a -potties. There’s be no lines and no waiting here! Ahhh Spring in the city! What could be better?


Rockin’ Robin

I saw my first robin of spring today as I was driving into work. It was a fat little guy. Wherever he wintered must have been very good to him.


I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much either. We’ve had some record warm days lately but the weatherman says we’ve got a return to winter on the way. An arctic blast is moving in from Canada.

But back to my little robin. Do they actually migrate? A couple of years ago when I was frantically running around trying to complete a 365 day challenge (A photo a day) I ran across a tree full of robins in the middle of a snow storm. Had they just come north too soon or do they stay in the area all winter?


In an effort to get some answers I looked it up on the internet. (I know you can’t believe everything you find on the internet) but I found this information in several different places. Apparently robin’s migrate for food reasons, not temperature. They are big berry eaters until spring thaws the ground when they switch over to bugs and worms.

Some robins will go as far south as Texas or Florida while others will only migrate as far as necessary to find their beloved berries.

As an interesting side note, the articles I saw mention that robins sing when they arrive on their breeding territories. Some may sing in winter flocks but most wait until the breeding season approaches and they have reached their “territory”.

So maybe the old adage about the first robin being the harbinger spring should really be the first SINGING robin.


Make way for Ducklings

Although different birds mate at different times, spring is in fulls wing here in New England. So it seemed strange to me that I had not seen any baby ducks.The swans are still on the nest and the Canada Geese have tons of baby goose-poop machines.

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I spotted a baby Osprey but where are the ducklings?

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There’s a little pond near my house so I took a drive over there with the camera. I brought along a book and settled in to read and watch the birds. There were lots of Canada Geese, no goslings here, however. There were some gulls and few Mallards but no babies of any kind.

I rolled the window down and started reading my book. The birds wandered across the road from the pond to the lawn on the other side and back again. Several geese stopped to check the car out. Apparently trying to figure out what this thing was in their path.

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I’d been there about 20 minutes as the mixed flock crossed back to the lawn again when I saw a Mama Mallard with quite a brood of ducklings. I bet she had a dozen! The babies were swimming and diving like corks while Mama chased away all adults, even the much larger Canada Geese!

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Happy now that I can add ducklings to my list of babies, I decided to make one more stop before I headed home.

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Some Thoughts on Spring

Southeastern Massachusetts is a not known for it’s spring. In fact we usually joke that we have only 3 seasons, winter, summer and fall. It’s not unusual to go from snowy days to 80 degrees. This year everyone is complaining about how cold and rainy it’s been. Why, northern New England and the mountains are even getting snow.

This is spring. If we didn’t have paved roads we’d be knee deep in mud. I remember “mud weeks” when I was a kid. The school bus made it through all kinds of snow drifts all winter but would get bogged down in the mud.


It has been un-seasonably cold but that doesn’t seem to stop the flowers from pushing through the cold ground. They seem to appear overnight.

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I hope warm weather will arrive soon but I remember a major snow storm in May so I guess we aren’t out of the woods yet.

So all those folks who always say we don’t have spring…listen up… this is Spring. It’s often cold. It’s often rainy but mother nature still blooms.