March 17

Here we are - March 17. The second time in a row this date has landed on a Sunday.

Montana is in the throes of early spring; confusion and weather chaos. Friday, I was compelled to dust my bike off after 7 months of disuse because the sun was warm and irresistible. This morning, I wake to find a frosty surprise. 

In the early morning, before church, the skies were ominous and the ground white.

The far mountains were dusted with powdered sugar; their peaks shrouded in whipped cream. (or maybe I was seeing everything through the lens of a poor breakfast)

Either way, the air was crisp and cold, driving us to the dark, albeit warm, basement.  When we stuck our noses out a few hours later, to our further surprise, the sun was back out and spring had returned to claim the day. 

The grass is beginning to get green spots.  Our front planter is beginning to sprout. The sun is staying out later into the evening. Shadows lengthen and time shortens as the long, dreary days of winter fade out.  

But one must not anticipate too much.  The salt and broom still reside on the porch in place of the cushions. The rabbits still have their thick coats. But Kalispell knows that sunshine is to be valued; hence my third surprise of the day.  The Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

 No, I did not wear any green today.  No, I did not get pinched by any mean people today. But since I almost got stuck in the parade driving around to get my pictures, I turned the event into an occasion, stayed to watch, and got my picture anyway. Oh, plus two Smarties and a Snickers -- we have good parade candy up here. 

And when I was uploading my pictures after dark, and pulled six files over, I realized I forgot a picture.  My fourth surprise of the day: a wind storm shaking the trees and whipping the Tyvek covering the house. It seemed too treacherous to venture outdoors for the last picture.  And it would have been a lame picture at night illumined by flash.  

My apologies.

And now my wishes for you all to have a beautiful spring full of surprises but not too much confusion, like our dear weather up here.  What to do? What to do?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw your shadow. Does that mean spring will be delayed two weeks?

To avoid having your shadow in the picture, walk backwards and zoom in to the subject until you can no longer see it. It's a technique I learned at work.

Unfortunately even low light cameras cannot take action shots in the dark without lots of blurring.

Why are people pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day?

According to the legends, leprechauns delighted in causing mischief, which included tripping, kicking or otherwise harming humans. Wearing green supposedly rendered the wearer invisible to leprechauns, and thus spared the wearer their attentions.

Pinching someone who isn't wearing green serves one of two functions. Since there are no actual leprechauns, it can be viewed as "picking up the slack" by emulating the (mild) pain a leprechaun can inflict. A more benevolent interpretation of the practice holds it as a warning: a pinch reminds the pinchee to put on something green before a leprechaun finds him and works some greater piece of mischief.

Some traditions hold that if someone accidentally pinches another person who is actually wearing green, the pinchee gets to pinch the other person back 10 times. The reasons for this tradition are self-evident, serving as a counterbalance for those who abuse the pinching tradition and ensuring that people don't get pinched unless they truly wear no green.

Since pinching on St. Patrick's Day is often the purveyance of elementary schoolchildren, that's probably why you didn't get pinched.

Well composed shot of the parade. Quality, not quantity.

Mr S.