It is said the robin is the first songbird of spring. I was out surveying my yard and making plans to install some new flowers, when I heard the faint, but distinct sound, of a robin. As I peeked over the the privacy fence that separates my yard from my new neighboring subdivision, only to spy a full-on episode of “Wild Kingdom” in its pond. There are wood ducks and mergansers and some nesting wood storks. Snowy egrets abound, and the occasional great blue heron makes a pit stop I have front-row seats to Mother Nature’s show. It’s a blessing to know that all signs point to spring making its return at the appointed time.

Speaking of front-row seats, I learned to cook by watching the women in my family. As an adult, I’ve really enjoyed learning about food, not only as a source of nutrition, but as one of life’s great pleasures.

The next best thing to eating a wonderful meal is watching culinary masters at work, which we had the opportunity to do recently at Georgia Sea Grill, on St. Simons Island. For the Coastal Illustrated feature, GSG owner Zack Gowen and executive chief Tim Lensch share their expertise on the popularity of small plates with a few delectable recipes.

In our Coastal Home feature, we chat with Sweat’s Furniture owners, and brothers, Dwight and Ward Sweat, about how their staff and designers help people who live miles away decorate, or redecorate, their second homes and investment properties. Our friends at Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals also share their knowledge on the subject, including wonderful images of well-decorated vacation condominiums.

Our Q&As continue to feature the most interesting people in the Golden Isles. In the Local Q&A, Molly Carrillo talks with Dr. Eric Linert, a local audiologist, who’s been practicing here for more than 21 years. In the Realtor Q&A, she visits with Carol Pollack, a Realtor who enjoys family time with her husband, sons and their menagerie of pets. Carol provides readers with some great real estate tips. Finally, we meet Austin Williams in the Designer Q&A. Austin talks about his favorite spot in the Golden Isles and shares some of his insights in design. He makes his home with his husband, Johnny Carino, the chief culinary officer of Sago at Sea Palms, and their two rescue dogs.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp reviews “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley. This book takes place during a wedding weekend on a remote British Isle, and has all the glamour and intrigue of an Agatha Christie novel. In the same vein as Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” and “Murder on the Orient Express,” Foley’s latest release is what is known as a “locked room mystery” in which suspects are trapped at the scene of a crime.

Gardening columnist Anne Ditmer gives advice about how to deal with the ongoing challenges provided by the redbay ambrosia beetle, as we look forward to warmer weather. As always, her timely suggestions will save readers stress, time and money.

Real estate reporter Gordon Jackson takes a look at the mortgage market and what prospective buyers need to do to get their ducks in a row to apply for one.

Things are returning slowly to a little more normal, as is proven by the recent groundbreaking held at Oaks on the River, a luxury boutique hotel currently under construction in Darien.

Cheri’s Shore Things breathes a little spring into the issue. In “Citrus Crush,” Cheri highlights all things lemon, lime and orange, including items with citrus patterns, citrus-scented candles, and even a lemon tree from ACE Garden Center.

We’ll be back on March 11, which puts us even closer to spring. In the meantime, wash your hands and don’t forget to be kind to one another.