The silly and saintly month of March

Karen Wils photo Snow snakes ready to race.

ESCANABA — Mid-March is both silly and saintly!

Leprechauns and crazy March hares dance. Snow snakes slither down the melting snow.

Shamrocks and green beer make for a festive time.

On the serious side, it is the church season of Lent. Many of us are doing little sacrifices (like giving up candy) to prepare for Easter. Lent is a season of change and we all want to change for the better.

Here in the U.P. we are winter weary by mid-March. Some fun and some signs of spring would be most welcomed.

Karen Wils photo Smiling trees.

Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17) is just the ticket to kick up our heels, even if we are not Irish. St. Patrick was a fifth-century bishop and missionary in Ireland.

Some folks believe that Patrick chased all of the snakes out of Ireland.

The Finnish people have Saint Urho. (St. Urho’s day is March 16.) Urho is credited with casting all the frogs and grasshoppers out of Finland.

Some saints are like super heroes. Other saints are like everyday people who lived a good life and are now in heaven. Soon the U.P. will be able to claim the venerable Bishop Frederic Baraga, the snowshoe priest, as its very own saint.

So, pick a saint to be your favorite and try to follow in his or her footsteps, but have some fun with it too.

St. Paddy’s Day is known for parades and a wee bit of whiskey. Corned beef and cabbage and Irish potato stew can be recipes for a good time.

By mid-March, cabin fever is affecting us all. So, we go a little crazy at this time of the year. Some folks get away for a spring break while other have snowman burning parties.

Some people see snow snakes!

Yes, snow snakes are real. Native American people carved snow snakes out of wood centuries ago. They held competitions to see who could toss the snow snake the farthest across the icy snow of early spring time.

Wild animals go pretty well berserk by mid-March. For many like the squirrels, birds and hares it is the mating season. That is why people say “crazy as a March hare.” At this time of the year these critters begin to change from white back to brown and they actually dance sometimes on two feet to defend their territories.

Hot or cold, saintly or silly, March is certainly a season of change both at home and out in the wilds of the U.P. Take out your snow snakes or your shamrocks and have a great weekend.