Sea Blue Lens

Scene & Story: April 2017


Robin Redbreast

April in Maine is known as mud season for good reason. We had snow. We had snowmelt. We had rain, lots of it, and more fog than I remember from previous springs. The water in the river rose a couple of feet. The photo above was taken on a day that was very typical of this year’s April.

Many years ago, I read in a newspaper advice column that you can tell if a rainstorm will be short or long by watching the birds in your yard. If all the birds disappear when the rain starts, it will only be a brief shower. If they ignore the rain and go about their usual business, you’ll know the rain is going to continue for some time. Birds need to eat often and can’t afford to take a day off from hunting and gathering food just to avoid getting wet.

I’ve found this bit of folklore to be pretty accurate. After all, our ancestors needed to use their experience and observations of nature to forecast the weather for themselves in the days before satellites and radar and 6:00 news broadcasts. On the day I took this photo, it had been raining for hours and the trees and brush at the river’s edge were busy with hopping and fluttering winged creatures.

Several robins left the trees for the grass below my window, exploring the newly thawed earth for tasty treats. This one perched on the picnic table for a good look around before strutting across it and joining his fellows on the ground. I could almost imagine him sighing and asking, “How much longer is this going to go on?”

Well, Mr. Robin, you tell me.

* * * * *

Click here to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. I hope you’ll join us! Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.

22 thoughts on “Scene & Story: April 2017

  1. I loved hearing about the folklore concerning the rain and the activity of the birds. Such a lovely capture of this one that you call Robin Redbreast, so unlike our version of a robin in Europe. They are both beautiful and I like this little one’s expression as he stands on the picnic table!

  2. What a fat little robin! It’s great that we both captured robins in the rain this month. Looking back on the last few weeks, the folklore holds true for us here in the Missouri. The birds were resigned to putting up with wet feathers and picking through puddles for worms. Having photographed lots of wet birds over the last month, I can appreciate how fantastic this shot is. The wood is a perfect frame, and the little stone and bird in focus with a softened background are wonderful!

  3. I have never heard this bit of folklore before, but now I will be intently watching the birds, since we have had more than enough rain this spring, and I am sure we will have more.

  4. I didn’t know this! However, I have noticed that the birds hang out at the feeders during rain, but I didn’t pay attention whether it was during a short shower or a longer rain. I will sure pay more attention in the future.

  5. That is a very interesting farmers tale, and it does make lots of sense. Sweet shot you got of “mr robin” The only thing I don’t LOVE about your joint Scene and Story is that it isn’t way more often. Great idea

  6. Very interesting about the birds, I didn’t know this but I’ll be paying attention to them now. thanks

  7. Thank you for sharing that bit of folklore. I love watching the birds but haven’t noticed much about how or why they do certain things. Nature is a good teacher.

  8. That interesting. And it’s so fun to watch the birds anyway, I’ll have to pay better attention.

  9. Your Robin friend is very cute. I can imagine him asking you the same thing. 🙂 I have noticed the hummingbirds come in to eat at the feeder no matter how hard it is raining. I will have to pay more attention as to whether they come in to feed if it is a short rain shower. Thank you for this bit of folklore. I will be paying more attention to the birds now when it rains.

  10. This was a fun post to read, and learn some folklore as well. I’ve never paid attention about it, so next rain, I’ll watch them. Actually, I always wonder were the birds go to stay out of the rain, especially when no leaves are on the trees. This made a fun story Leon!

  11. It’s amazing how people used to pay attention to the things around them to have an idea of things like weather. How much we must miss when the info is as easy the evening news or a google search. Cute little Robin and a great capture. Thank you for co-hosting the link-up with Sarah.

  12. I’ve never heard of this bit of folklore. The next time it rains, which will be Thursday, I’ll have to check this out! Love how you capture the pretty little Robin!

  13. I love this little bit of bird wisdom and will be watching them more closely when it rains – it will be interesting 🙂

  14. I so enjoyed reading this, Lee!
    Here in NY, we say that we have 4 seasons: Early Mud, Summer, Late Mud, and Winter.
    It has been a VERY rainy and cold spring here, and it does not look like that will change very soon.
    I did not know this about the birds.
    I know that a couple of days ago, we had a pair of Canada Geese in the yard, and when it began to rain, they made so much noise. It sounded like they were angry. I don’t blame them!!! 🙂
    Have a wonderful rest of your week, my friend.

  15. Interesting story about birds, I will have to see if that is the same around here. the bird here is very pretty.

  16. Hi, love your message of observation! The folklore is also fascinating and opens our minds to new observations. In our yard are some pretty tall and bushy trees. They are full of birds, protected as they are so high. But they do swoop down for bird feed, flashing their bright plumage. Robins and Cardinals are quite common here. Also super super rainy…last two days spent drying out and feeling the humidity. Our kids who are scattered across the states are telling me about the heavy rains that last for days. In some places it is really needed. I would surely rather have rain than the opposite. Perfect photo for your written thoughts. Take care. smiles: Sharon

  17. It’s amazing the things we can learn from nature if we only take the time. I’m going to remember this one and test it out. Poor little robin – he really does look as though he’d like the rain to end – as would I…

  18. I do so love robins. There’s one in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and I always remember that part!!!

  19. Oh I love that folklore story! Thank you for sharing. What a gorgeous bird! X

  20. Never heard than before, about birds and rain storm, but it makes sense, doesn’t it. Of course rain is good for the earth and for the environment, but sometimes – in some places – it can just be too much. 🙂

  21. Great capture of the robin and I love the wet table in the photo! We call April “a month that makes a fool of us” for all the surprising changes in weather when all seasons take their turns just in days.
    That bit of folklore is interesting and definitely makes sense although I find it hard to grasp how the birds can distinguish the difference. Our senses are so limited!

  22. it’s very interesting!
    best regards from Italy

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