The Borrowing Days of March

Yesterday, my 15-year-old daughter and her friends wanted to, needed to, just get outside in the slightly warmer weather! They decided to go to Kilen Woods State Park which is about 15 minutes from our home. There is a Parents' Review (Vol. 27)  article titled "A Walk in March" by Florence Haines and I found it to be so interesting to read as the girls headed out the door to find signs of spring. (As a side note - it's really fun to see your children take up some of the habits a CM education has instilled in them...for fun!)

“March many weathers,” “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” though sometimes the process is reversed and as the Scotch proverb warns us, “The wast (worst)  blast comes on the borrowing day.” These borrowing or borrowed days are the last three of the month, which tradition tells us were borrowed from April. A tradition which is not peculiar to Britain, for we find a similar belief in France and Spain, and in every case the explanation, though it varies slightly in detail, has the same foundation – the attempt of the month to kill certain beasts. In the Spanish version, a shepherd promised a lamb to March if March, in return, would give fine weather for the flock. The contract was honourably fulfilled by March, but when he requested his lamb towards the end of the month the shepherd, whose flock were in prime condition, and who reflected that only three days remained, refused to pay his debt. Said March, in just indignation, “You won’t give me my rights, then know this, that in the three days I have left, and in the three more that my gossip April will lend me, all your sheep shall die,” and this threat, during the six days that followed, was fulfilled.
Yikes!  So it did get really cold and rainy later that day. It was a borrowed day from April, of course. I love weather lore.

She spotted one flower that stood out beautifully against the brown, dead grass - a pasqueflower, also known as a prairie crocus. Isn't it lovely? It's almost as if it is saying "hold on, spring is almost here and my friends are coming!"  The article, which is about Britain, also had a reference to a pasque flower which is surely a relative of ours.
The plant, having a trifoliate leaf, is a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and known as Herba
Trinitatis; it is also a fairy flower, and the purple markings ascribed to fairy fingers, while at night and during bad weather the tiny elf is said to nestle cosily in the bell-shaped tent.
The pasqueflower is also the South Dakota state flower.

I hope your borrowing days are not so wild!



  1. OOOOO!
    This is one wildflower I have yet to see.
    Lovely notebook entry.

  2. What a glorious looking wildflower. And a nature journal entry that is every bit as lovely! "Borrowing day" - what a neat perspective!

    1. Well, we are wayyyy behind you and all your spring blooms, so of course we are a bit excited when something finally shows up! And my forsythias have buds!!! Maybe this year...

  3. I love this, Nancy. I had not heard of this term before. Thank you for sharing the beautiful journal entry and connections. Sigh. I love this life.

  4. This is so neat! There are so many beautiful spring flowers like this one that I can't wait to discover around here someday!

  5. Her beautiful journal entry reminded me of The Country Diary so I had to check. There, in April, on page 46, is another Pasque Flower. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ohhh, I immediately looked that up and showed her! Thank you for reminding me of that beautiful resource. So fun!

  6. love the term "borrowing days... and thanks for posting!