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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Make Way, It's the God of War

Those that favor the sport of basketball did not invent the concept of March Madness, but simply joined in what many consider the most awkward of the twelve in which we participate. There are howling winds, winter storms becoming spring storms, and just plain old-fashioned storms. That is probably as it should be considering it is named for the Roman god of war, Mars.

Spring is nature’s way of saying, "Let’s party!" 
~Robin Williams

The winds of March play havoc with planting, fell trees, spoil weekends, and are loved by those that fly kites. In Kittyhawk they have huge kite flying festivals, kite companies sponsor weekends and introduce new lines of kites. Austin, Texas hosts a spring party at Zilker Park dedicated to kite flying.

My brother and I used to make our own kites using balsa wood, newspapers, string, and airplane dope. Mom would get mad as hell when we would ‘acquire’ her stockings and use them for kite tails. Safer, her stockings than dad’s ties. Who hasn’t seen Charlie Brown suffering through March Madness with kite after kite stuck in a tree.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

On or about March 21, we honor the spring equinox; say goodbye to old man winter and his buddy, Jack Frost. It may look good on paper, but it rarely works out that way. Frosts continue in our part of the world well into May, sometimes even June. Living at slightly above the five thousand foot level on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada means spring comes slowly and sporadically.

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

Many people believe that at the spring equinox, the length of the day and night are equal, but that isn’t an absolute. Equinox means the center of the sun passes over the equator, and often the equality of day and night takes place a day or two before in spring and a day or two after in the fall. And for us as individuals, it will depend on where you live, closer or further from the equator. Enough, already.

Hee that is in a towne in May loseth his spring.
~George Herbert

Where we live, we don’t plant by the phase of the moon or the date on the calendar but rather, by the extended forecast offered by the weather gurus. That old Roman Rogue, Mars, was originally the god of agriculture and was called on often to bring good planting and large harvest. It seems that the queen of the Roman gods, Juno, gave birth to Mars after allegedly being touched by some magical plant. Hmmm?

While we’re on the subject, there is a Roman goddess we need to meet. Named Flora, she is the goddess of flowers and spring as well as being a fertility goddess. Flora, meet Mars.

I believe it’s time to go fly a kite.

Until next time, will you join me on facebook from time to time?
Or Tweet with me, darlin’?

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