Spring does not arrive on the southern Rolling Plains as much as it slowly invades, and robins have never been reliable here as they are year round residents. Some say the herald is the first tornado warning. I tend to look for more positive hints such as the return of scissor-tailed flycatchers and Mississippi kites. Local lore has it that mesquite trees will not bud out until after the last freeze, yet I have seen them caught by an exceptionally late freeze like the one we had just two nights ago (latest freeze ever recorded here). Meanwhile, robins are feeding fledglings while mockingbirds, blue jays and squirrels are renovating their new digs for the year.