March-ing into Spring!

March 2, 2016

I really enjoy the month of March. It’s a great transition from the cold of winter to the warm sunny days of spring. March is not only one of my favorite nouns, but it’s also an excellent verb. Here are some of my favorite uses of march: marching bands, March Madness (or March Sadness if you’re a Wolfpack fan like myself), and some excellent march idioms such as “Mad as a March hare,” or “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” So let’s take a few of these uses and apply them to our work here at TLC.

Trout Lily Kyle Obermiller March

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) is a spring ephemeral found in many woodland habitats.

Strike Up the Band this March

It may be a stretch, but my favorite “March” of all, marching band, can be applied to our trail work at Brumley Forest Nature Preserve. We’ve logged over 450 hours of volunteer time at Brumley Forest so far in 2016. Yes, 450 volunteer hours in just two months! Our trail building volunteers are like a fine-tuned instrument, building trails that wind through the woods, by the streams and tall trees. They march onward down the path, one foot after another, working in unison from the people in the front clearing the debris to the folks in the back raking the trail smooth. In an average workday, usually a little under 3 hours, one volunteer will build about 20 feet of finished hiking trail. That’s about the same amount of pipe found in the average tuba!


Volunteers have already given 450 hours of service this yeat at Brumley Forest.

Fun Fact: The largest private tuba collection is located right here in Durham! The Vincent and Ethel Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection will begin public tours beginning early March.

Let’s not discuss March Madness. Remember, I’m a NC State grad. I don’t want to be as mad as a March hare. (To be educational, “mad as a March hare” is an English phrase derived from the observed antics, said to occur in the March breeding season of the European hare.)

Hello, March

Last but not least, “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” Anyone who takes note of the weather can recall times when it feels like every season happens in March, sometimes during the same week. While that seems to hold true this year for February, with weather ranging from ice storms to tornado warnings, more obvious and noticeable changes occur during March. The Triangle region weather averages goes from the upper 50’s in the beginning of March, to the upper 60’s by month’s end. Out in the woods, plants and trees break out of dormancy to grow new leaves and spring ephemerals like the trout lily, bloodroot, and tiny bluet will all be coming alive later this month. There’s no better time to go out in my opinion than a sunny day of March.

Bluets in March

Bluet (Houstonia caerulea)

So go out and march to the beat of the wild drum and get yourself outside! It may not be possible every day, but have your shorts and Chacos on standby for those sunny afternoons that bring you out of your winter slumber. We’ll continue in our efforts to give you a 7th TLC preserve to enjoy out at Brumley. If you’re itching to get out to Brumley though, register to go on a members-only sneak peak in April.

This is The Dirt – Tales from the Field. If you have any questions about our work here at TLC, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

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