Do you wonder what the robins know?

I heard someone this week say, “One robin A not make a spring.” Very true. But inevitably, that thought must be followed by a question. How many robins does it take to make a spring?

This is very important, because we all need to know when it’s alright to pack up the flannel shirts and bring out the shorts.

It may seem unimportant to some people, but it is not.

We can’t decide it is spring just because the date on the March calendar says it is.

According to the calendar, spring is just a few days away.

And we have definitely gone on Daylight Saving Time, that invention that is celebrated by some and cursed by others.

The peony on the walkway thinks spring has come, because its leaves have popped up a couple of inches out of the ground.

But we all know that means nothing.

The peony thinks spring is here, but I know that when it puts its tender shoots up just a little higher, we will have a late frost.

That means that anything at risk must be covered and protected, unless it has branched out too much to make that feasible.

It’s possible to cover a small azalea, but once a certain girth is reached, you just have to sit back and watch the tender blooms wither and turn dark, then prematurely fall onto the ground.

So, though my heart longs to pack up the winter clothes and put away the coats, memories of previous hopeful years caution that risk is involved in doing that.

Yes, we had a day last week when the temperature reached 81 degrees.

We’ve had some outstandingly beautiful days of sunshine, and the ground has almost dried up enough to plow the garden.

But we know it’s not something we can count on.

Now, the robins don’t mind living on the edge. They have positive attitudes.

They’re out in the yard right now, happily hunting worms and hopping in the grass. We hear birds chirping every morning and doves cooing as the sun goes down.

The bird feeders are busy places, and it’s all I can do to keep them filled. And hope continues to spring eternal.

But how many robins must appear before we can confidently say spring has arrived?

How about 10 robins?. If we see 10 robins in the yard at the same time, does that mean I should take my wool coat to the cleaners and put it away until next fall?

If I do that, will it mean we’ll immediately have a hard freeze and we’ll have to stay inside huddling by the fire to keep warm?

Prudent people may choose to wait. We’re in that time of limbo when we must have some short-sleeved shirts hanging side by side with the long-sleeved flannels.

We must have flannel pajamas and cotton ones at hand.

The bureau drawers will be filled with clothes from two seasons, making them impossible to close snugly.

This is all, like most things, a temporary situation.

Maybe one robin doesn’t make a spring. But robins know more about this than we do. Those early robins are just getting a head start on one of the most beautiful times of the year.

Jonquils are up again, the quince is in bloom and calves are appearing in pastures.

Our spring typically doesn’t last very long. So listen to what the robin has to say. His predictions about the season may be more accurate than those of the meteorologists. The robin’s track record seems to be just as good, if not better. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I’m making a conscious decision to side with the robin.

Get ready, it’s coming.