Wednesday, March 2, 2011
March blew into the Northeast yesterday with a chill wind and fluffy clouds of blustery countenance. The last day of February was sunny and still. Swept the porch of Winter debris, scattered the salt hay bale around the yard, and hung out a wind chime. The Sylphs of Springtime are indeed ushering in the winds of change. All around there are harbingers of the season-to-come : budding quince and forsythias, cooing mourning doves, and lengthening daylight hours. Green chickweed is already creeping into the garden beds : time to tidy them of their Autumn leavings on the next warm day.This seasonal transition conjures cravings for greens and Hot Cross buns. The front door's now adorned with glittering trefoils in a wreath,St.Brigid's cross,and shamrock gel clings on the window trio. Saint Pat's is just around the corner. The Long Island celebration is far from veneration for Catholicism and is a parade & party event to show Irish pride. Time for a visit to the local Celtic shop to buy Cadbury chocolates and potato crisps to give the kids a taste of Ireland to mark the occasion. It's important to acknowledge their paternal heritage, despite the holiday's association with the church's attempt to drive the pagans (symbolized by snakes) out of The Emerald Isle. Hopefully, there will soon be a working oven in the kitchen from which to produce Soda breads and a brisket (corned beef). Be on the lookout for Mad March Hares : hares acting oddly might be shape-shifters or "were-hares." These dangerous creatures can only be dispatched by a silver bullet, or a bullet dipped in rue or rowan tea! LOL Actually, it was the hare's Sprintime courtship displays that gave rise to this curious lore. Unlike rabbits, hares don't dig burrows. Instead, when they are alarmed or need to rest, they crouch down flat in little hollows in the ground known as "forms". The hare's apparent ability to vanish out of sight made people believe that the animal had magickal powers.