March comes in like a lion and, in Colorado at least, can’t seem to make up its mind. It dithers. It flip-flops. And speaking of flip-flops: We dig out ours and happily wear them on the first 60-degree day of the year, only to wake up to snow.
This is a month of new green shoots and bitter winds, of pink blossoms and white snow, of Easter candy and winter stew.
To make the unpredictability of the month a little easier, enjoy our March Five.
You can’t say you’ve never considered eating the whole thing with a fork, without even bothering to cut it. Pie is a superior dessert and, really, a superior food, and March 14 is Pi Day (3.14, get it?). In honor of this special day, make this fabulously easy pie:
1 graham cracker crust
1 box chocolate pudding
sliced soft fruit (strawberries, peaches or bananas are especially nice)
Make the pudding according to directions and pour into crust. Chill until pudding sets. Top with sliced fruit and whipped cream and eat (the whole thing? We’re not judging).
Signs of the season
You never know in Colorado, where Mother Nature does a lot of bait-and-switch with the seasons changing. “It’s spring!” we think, and then it snows.
But still: The first day of spring is March 20, and that’s cause for celebration. Keep your eyes peeled for these two delightful seasonal harbingers:
■ Crocus: Often the first flowers to bloom in the yard, they’re also often brilliant and happy poking through a layer of snow. But the fact that they’re so excited to blossom and then get snowed on only adds to their exuberant, dorky charm.
■ Robins: When they strut into the yard, that seals the spring deal. And when they lay their blue eggs in a hidden nest? Nothing is more wonderful.
The newest iteration of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” will be released Friday with “Oz the Great and Powerful” starring James Franco, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams. In no particular order, the best characters in the Oz tales are:
■ The Lollipop Guild: They weren’t actually in the book, but in the 1939 classic movie starring Judy Garland. And they are excellent: growly, twitchy little candy pushers.
■ The Cowardly Lion: He’s so imperfect and relatable, so when he chooses to show courage it’s especially wonderful.
■ The Wicked Witch of the West: Come on. She’s great! So green. So scary. And she has an army of flying monkeys!
March 15 is the Ides of March, popularly held as the day Julius Caesar was assassinated, an event predicted by a soothsayer with, “Cave idus martias (Beware the Ides of March).” A useful phrase, that.
Here are four other good Latin phrases:
■ Tempus fugit: time flees.
■ Sol lucet omnibus: the sun shines on all.
■ Ad alta: to the summit.
■ Semper ad meliora: always toward better things.
March is National Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. These five women may not have the name recognition of, say, Joan of Arc, but their accomplishments are no less tremendous:
■ Melba Pattillo: She volunteered as a 13-year-old to be one of the first nine black students to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in September 1957, despite repeated death threats and violence against her.
■ Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: Her 1925 Ph.D. thesis at Radcliffe College not only established hydrogen as the main component of stars, but she helped pave the way for women entering the hard sciences and earning doctorate degrees.
■ Sayyida al Hurra: This pirate queen controlled the western Mediterranean during the early 16th century, was governor of Tetouan, a city in Morocco, married the king of the country and held the Islamic title al Hurra (queen).
■ Ann E. Dunwoody: Retired from the U.S. Army, she is the first woman in U.S. military history to earn the rank of four-star general, which she did Nov. 14, 2008.
■ Wu Zetian: A 7th century Chinese empress, she was scarily good at political machination and faced threats both foreign and domestic with an almost supernatural steeliness.