Thursday, March 11, 2010
Spring is Creeping in At Last
The Faces of March
March is a month of expectations. It is not quite spring but neither is it winter. Well, sometimes it is winter, March has the freedom of being both, one minute it is winter and the next moment it is spring.
March is like a little child holding the masks of both of these seasons up to his face and trying them on.
Master March puts on his winter mask with sudden tantrums of snowstorms and sharp winds. He then tosses on his spring mask and the coltsfoot blooms, merrily yellow, in every little wet ditch alongside the township roads.
Coltsfoot stems look like little fawns lifting themselves up on furry, wobbling legs. I find it interesting that those little stems are also said to look like an old man's pipe.
Folklore has it that you can dry coltsfoot leaves to smoke in such a pipe as a remedy for asthma. With flowers that slightly resemble dandelion blossoms they seem to be a happy sort of plant, somewhat like their name.
Another native wildflower that blooms this time of year is the regal bloodroot. You will not find it showing off alongside the road like the coltsfoot. Instead it hides its blooms in the dark protective cover of the woods. Walking under the pines the other day I was surprised to find it already in flower. Bloodroot's pure white blossoms stand out shockingly aglow amidst the greens and browns of the woods.
There are tiny flowers blooming everywhere. The honey bees in our yard are relishing the sweetness of the crocuses, the snowdrops and the maple tree blossoms but nothing can say it is spring more potently then the spring peepers. When their optimistic melody breaks out on a warm March or April evening it is like PING and you feel it. They strum the chord that reverberates, spring! Don't you love those first warm days and nights when you can throw open the windows of your home and let the scent of fresh air flow through?