We’ve been doing the first of several phases of home remodeling during the past two and a half weeks, replacing our 30-year old woodpecker-, water-, and insect-damaged siding and trim with new materials which will hopefully see us through the next 30 years or so. Part of that project was adding gutters to the south side of our house, which never had gutters in the past. The work had been taking place in the midst of and in between some of the worst snow storms so far this year, but as it happened, the day after the gutters were installed, the sun came out, and the snow on our south-facing roof immediately began to melt and flow into the new gutters.
This seemingly minor event led to an experience of wonder and awe for me. As I opened the shades of our second-floor bedroom yesterday, I saw a continuous flow of robins, flying up from the trees down the hillside below to land on our new gutters, where they were able to get a drink from the snow melt. Each robin would perch on the edge of the gutter for only a minute or so, then fly back to a perch in one of our wild cherry, locust, cedar, and holly trees, only to be immediately replaced by another robin. At times in the last two days I’ve seen a dozen or more robins on the gutter below our bedroom window, and if I look up, I can usually see the tails of several more birds perched on the gutter of the top roof of the house. Here are a couple of photos I took this evening:
(Please click on the images or right-click and choose “Open image in a new window” to see them at a larger size)
Just last Sunday, Punxsatawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter for us, but I’m hoping that the arrival of the robins on our rooftop means that he’s wrong. The robins are a lot more enjoyable to watch, anyway.