The proverbial (and over used) saying is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. In truth March is a fickle beast and comes in as it wishes and goes out as it wishes. Some years you might have the bliss of March both coming and going like a lamb . . . other years March is the raging lion all month long. I think the one thing that can be safely said for March is that it is a fickle month.
However it shall leave, March has come in this year like a lion. Snow and more snow. Wind and cold. And more snow. Had enough? March is still not half over yet. March is fickle, but perhaps the second thing this month is known for is the number of people who finally crack and go insane from the length and madness of winter. By March a person is inclined to believe that they deserve spring and are inclined to grow increasingly irrational and unreasonable when this supposed right is thwarted.
It is true. By March just about any reasonable person is ready for spring. Warm weather. Green things. But the fickleness of March does not bother me as much as some people. Mentally, I feel worse heading into winter. Then the days are growing shorter, it’s getting dark earlier and light later and we have months and months of cold miserable weather ahead. And besides, everything I intended to finish before winter wasn’t done. With March, it is the opposite. The days are growing longer, it’s getting warmer, and the wonderful spring and summer are just over the horizon. I can make all sorts of wonderful idyllic plans about what I will accomplish in the coming seasons. Optimism abounds.
From this perspective, March and April are good months. They are the months in which you can dream and appreciate that which is not yet here. By the time May and June come, reality is colliding with all of those daydreams.
So, when the snow comes pouring down in March and the temperature is still hovering around zero (Fahrenheit) I am inclined to simply laugh. Why not go out in bare feet and shout up at the sky, “Snow! Snow all you want! It won’t keep spring from coming! It’s coming and when it does you’re all going to melt! Hear me!” I haven’t done that. But maybe I am slightly mad to think about things that way.
Our driveway is turning into a frozen river. Recalling events of last year, I remember that at times of extreme wetness a spring would appear above our driveway, bubbling up fresh cold water. (We have a high water table and very heavy clay soil which makes surface water a big problem.) This little spring disappears in dry weather, but is causing our current trouble. Surface snow melt can create a small ice problem on the driveway, but we are having water problems when the temperature is below freezing. This can only be caused by subsurface water coming up–and then freezing.
The extent of the problem is amazing. The flow of water is such that even when the temperature is down near zero (Fahrenheit) there will still be pockets of soft ice and water on the driveway. The water keeps coming, spreading and freezing. As ice dams the water up it spreads further and piles higher. In a day it can reach an inch in thickness.
The smooth surface is impassable for a vehicle so the ice is broken up and removed. Next morning–there it is again! Another sheet of ice covering the driveway and this time the frozen water has piled up so high it is covering the bottom step!
Salting is a joke, and even removing the ice is an exercise in futility. The water freezes again, on the driveway, on the road. At this point we are just trying to create an uneven ice surface (break up the ice and let it refreeze) so that vehicles can climb the surface of ice that seems determined to remain until spring truly arrives.
[Cross-posted with Morning Ride In March]