We saw robins the other day
Before spring snow chased them away.
But they know something we don’t know
About this never-ending snow.

They know that the worst has passed
And that spring has come at last.
Frozen ground amassed has melted
Underneath this snow.
Although to us it doesn’t show.

The melting feeds the ground and seed
And soon lush growth will come, indeed.
Robins do, our fears- allay.
Winter did not overstay.

Farmers in Vermont and other northern states call the wet snows that come in March and April  'Poor Man's Fertilizer'. As odd an expression as that may seem, there is truth to this old-timer's colloquialism. During most of the winter, the ground is frozen solid. Anything seeping into the ground is mostly blocked until the spring thaw. Spring snow is very wet and penetrates the soil with moisture and nutrients. Snow is rich in nitrogen and more and more, sulfer. Yes– 'acid rain'. Acid rain is problematic in forests, but it can be helpful as fertilizer in gardens and lawns.

"Wise as a robin?They do have the sense to go south for the winter and are legendary for being the harbingers of spring. For this Vermont Eskimo, that is welcomed indeed. I know that somewhere under the white stuff, the tulips and daffodils have sprouted.


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