Once again, March proved that she’s totally unreliable. Her primary job was to bring us Spring, but she indulged in such an outrageous on-again-off-again affair with Old Man Winter that her mind was never really on her work.
March often turned a cold shoulder on us, icing up coves and open coasts, while turning woods into vernal ice rinks and residence roofs into stalactites.
We awoke to howling March snowstorms before and after the due date for her to deliver the equinox, astronomical Spring.
To be sure, after a spat with Winter, March would rest with a sunny smile on her face and we would again have visions of Spring showing up.
There are certain events and practices that usually happen in March, no matter how fickle she is. This March’s full moon not only was a super Moon, it came within hours of the equinox — a very unusual event.
Of course, there is St. Patrick’s Day. Wasn’t he the priest who drove snakes out of Ireland and replaced them with pink flamingos? Or was it with snowmen? We’ll have to ask neighbor Judith Fuller, whose road banners appeared throughout the month:
March is when the season opens for netting Glass Eel Elvers near the streams that these youngsters will ascend. (See our prior post, below.) Common Goldeneye Ducks fish for these valuable baby eels without having to buy an expensive license.
In deeper waters, commercial fishing for scallops continues during March’s unpredictable weather. Most of the fishermen use lobster boats that have been converted to trawlers to dredge for the delicious mollusks.
There also is, of course, March Madness, when many of us here are glued to the TV sets to see the best basketball games of the year. Even our Wild Turkeys are inspired; they practice their pick and roll plays constantly during March, while their chin-whiskered fans smile.
Speaking of birds, the large raft of Common Eider ducks that came to nearby Blue Hill Bay to winter were still there this morning, as were some Ring-Billed Gulls in breeding plumage.
It’s bad enough having to fish in cold water, but imagine what it’s like to pry frozen larvae out of wood to eat. Our smallest and largest resident tree walkers — Brown Creepers and Pileated Woodpeckers — still had that challenge in March.
There were a few signs of Spring outside and inside in March: Pussy Willows extended their furry paws out of their catkins and our windowsill Hibiscus delivered a salad-plate-sized blossom.
Oh, sorry: we forgot about the largest and strangest blooms of all in March. They appeared just as a Spring party was starting and were gone the next day. We’ve got the flora books out, but haven’t been able to identify them yet.
(All images above were taken during March 2019 in Down East Maine.)