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March comes in like a screaming child

Every spring, March seems to throw a temper tantrum in the Midsouth.

Brent Murphree, Senior Editor, Delta Farm Press

March 21, 2023

2 Min Read
Storm Clouds
Even on sunny days in March, the cloudy and rainy storms are not far off.Brent Murphree

My expectations of March are far too high.

I’m always happy about the idea of March and the warmer temperatures, blooming flowers and general greening of the world around us. I expect that transition to be a gradual, peaceful transformation. It is not.

The reality is more like a temperamental toddler that is all sunshine and smiles before dropping a torrential flood of tears or post hurricane howls. One moment you are enjoying a warm sunny day and a short time later the temperature drops and the rain blows in.

I’ve spent more than a few nights this time of year punching up the weather app trying to see if a tornado is heading my way. It never has, but it could.

When those cold jet streams of the north head down this way and hit a warm southernly air mass, chaos ensues.

Three days into this month, the weather lady noted that we were over two inches above our two-day-into-March normal. At two days in, I think she was grasping at ideas for a story. But still, adjusted for a larger span of time, that is pretty much normal for the month of March.

My lawn greened up in a couple of days when it hit 60 degrees early on. Then as if Cousin Eddie slapped me on the back and said, “Hey, gottcha!” the temperature dropped into the 40s.

I had optimistically sprayed my garden to knock the weeds down in anticipation of getting a few things in early. The cold knocked back the punch of the herbicide and now half dead weeds just sit there semi preserved in the cold.

The garden remains unplanted and muddy from the last batch of rain. I’ve thrown up my hands and have almost abandoned my plans for an early garden.

At my age, I am more sensitive to the change of weather and the cold. My bones ache and I can’t figure out what I must have done to cause the pain until someone points out it may be the change in barometric pressure.

For the first time ever, the future of sitting in a chair with a blanket on my lap and sweater on my shoulders seems a possibility. I promise, I’m trying hard not to turn into a grumpy old man, but reading what I’ve just written makes me think I’ve already turned that corner.

Nevertheless, as I sit here and stare out the window of my office at the misty rain that’s falling, once again, I long for the sun to peak through the March clouds and start warming the ground.

It’s not really spring in my book until it’s warm enough to get the cotton planted. When those shoots start peaking up out of the soil and start unfurling their cotyledons, it’s a good day.So, I guess March brings a promise, it doesn’t always bring results.

About the Author(s)

Brent Murphree

Senior Editor, Delta Farm Press

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