A fern emerges in the spring woods.

I have been writing about nature in the Mariner for almost eight years now. It’s usually easy for me to come up with a topic for my monthly column – the world outdoors certainly provides much to learn about and discuss — but every so often I get stuck.

It’s not so much that I have nothing to write about, but rather, I find myself drawn to the same subjects over and over again. For example, how many articles can I write about signs of spring here on the South Shore? You’ve heard it all before: crocuses, robins, forsythia and spring peepers . . . Spawning fish, daffodils, butterflies, budding trees and mud. Enough is enough.

But the onset of spring is such an exciting time of year! How can I not write about it? There has to be another way . . .

This year I turned to the Internet, where I found – not surprisingly – scores of websites tracking the very same seasonal indicators mentioned above. At, you can follow monarch butterfly migration across North America. At, you can watch a video of a first grade class ASL-signing and reciting a poem about a robins and flowers. Amazon wants you to consider purchasing Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar – but steers clear of reminding you how these many-legged creatures will soon be munching up your oak trees. There’s even a link to a bowhunting site.

The best site I found, though, was “Signs of Spring: Poetry by Mrs. Cress’s Class,” featuring seasonal poetry by fourth and fifth graders from Phoenix, Arizona ( Here are some examples.

This is by a student named “Maddie K.”

Birds are flying all around,
Bees are sucking honey they found,
Ducks are making a quacking sound,
Squirrels are finding nuts that are round,
Tadpoles are turning into frogs,
Butterflies are landing on a lot of logs,
And flowers are being chewed up by dogs.

I especially like the last line. It’s so much more original than anything I could come up with!

Here’s another. This one is by “Paul”

Insects buzzing
Green grass
New things happen
Sunlight shines

Over our heads there are many birds
Flowers bloom

Several trees start popping buds
People stop wearing big jackets
Rivers flow
In the desert, plants turn green
Nothing ever stops growing
Great things happen

It’s so simple, yet so optimistic! I too enjoy putting away my “big jacket” for another year.

Here’s one by “Kenna G.”

Spring is the red of the red tulips sprouting,
Spring is the orange of the orange marigolds blossoming,
Spring is the yellow of the blooming daffodils,
Spring is the green of the fresh grass growing,
Spring is the blue of the clearest skies,
Spring is the purple of the just opening violets,
Spring is the pink of the fresh smelling roses,
Spring is the white of the grapefruit blossoms,
Spring is the brown of the winter grass dying,
Spring is the black of the huge rain clouds.

I’ll take “huge black rain clouds” over huge white snow clouds any day.
And finally, one more, by “Katie S.”

Birds are chirping very loudly,
Ducks are swimming all around.
Bee are buzzing busily,
Trees are blooming 123.
Flowers have small buds,
While the grass is green.
Frogs are hopping lily pad to lily pad,
And in spring I am never mad.

Ah, to be nine again – and “never mad” in the springtime…
Happy Spring, everyone!

By Kezia Bacon-Bernstein, Correspondent
March 2004

Kezia Bacon-Bernstein’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168.