Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Lions and Lambs

The word 'March' comes from the Roman 'Martius'. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the god of war.  March was the beginning of our calendar year. We changed to the 'New Style' or 'Gregorian calendar in 1752, and it is only since then when we the year began on 1st January. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Hlyd monath which means Stormy month, or Hraed monath which means Rugged month.
Song Sparrow
Well, the ancients certainly knew what they were talking about when they named this month, didn't they? On Tuesday, it's sunny and warm, Wednesday morning is blustery, rainy and cold. On Tuesday, Beckham Bird Club has a wonderful hike at Bernheim Forest with our guest, Greg Miller, of "The Big Year" fame. He's a regular guy, very nice, with a rough history. Greg says he now gives speeches about a contest he didn't win, and a book he didn't write, which was made into a movie he didn't star in. He did serve as the avian consultant for the movie though, and got to meet all the cast. The casting director did a great job with Jack Black taking Greg's part. Black nailed Greg's mannerisms right on. He was most touched by a letter from a man who started birding with his son after they watched The Big Year together, because Jack Black was in it.
Eastern Bluebird
By the next morning, winter had returned, and a few of us braved the elements to join Thor Hanson, our evening speaker and author of a terrific book about Feathers:the Evolution of a Natural Miracle. Following feathers from the dinosaurs to ladies' hats, he was a delightful speaker at our annual dinner, and endured the unpleasant weather the next morning in good spirits. If you are interested in birds, I recommend his book.
Red Maple Blossoms
The sunshine gleams so bright and warm,
The sky is blue and clear.
I run outdoors without a coat,
And spring is almost here.
Then before I know it,
Small clouds have blown together,
Till the sun just can't get through them,
And again, it's mitten weather.

Sunrise and sunset are close to twelves hours apart today, and the birds and plants seem to know that spring is here, and willing to take a chance on the weather. The early bloomers are out, and bees are looking for them. I, on the other hand, go out whenever the sun shines, and wrap up in my favorite blanket on days like today, when it is going to rain/sleet/snow once AGAIN! But I'm more than ready to have it be spring every day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was also glad to walk with Greg Miller. I'll try to email the photo I took of you with him. No promises, as I often fail at this. Janet in Etown