Appalachia Seasons

March According to John Parris


“In the hills, March is a woodpecker drumming in a new season. It’s the liquid trill of tree frogs and the plaintive notes of peepers heralding the return of spring. It’s wild geese winging their way northward over the Smokies and blue jays chattering of new days to come. It’s the sun writing tomorrow’s message on the earth. It’s a time when winter lingers in the lap of spring. It’s gusty days and calm days, chill days and warm days. It’s April whispering from the ridgetops while March goes whistling down the valley. It’s song sparrows in the alders and robins strutting in the pasture. It’s a velvet-coated bumblebee hunting for a nest site and a honeybee buzzing for the first taste of pollen. March is the first daffodils making the whole world golden.”

—John Parris – “March in the Hills – These Storied Mountains”

As we worked outside a few days ago I was reminded of the words above. Spring of the year is coming on fast in Brasstown and while the sunshine is warm on my face the shadows under the porch and trees make me wish I had a bigger coat on.


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  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    March 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    I love Spring. These lovely, warm days fill me with big ideas and wake me up to new possibilities. Welcome Spring! Welcome to the robin red breasts that stop and look at me and run so fast across the grass. Welcome sunshine! Welcome new Hope! Welcome, welcome. welcome!!!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    The neighborhood woodpecker was loud and clear this morning, because he’s looking for a lady friend. I saw daffodils on my walk yesterday. My daffodils and tulips are late bloomers.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 11, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    When I was a teenager I read the newspaper whenever I could get ahold of one. I only read the Asheville Citizen-Times. Not a lot of people my age read newspapers. I didn’t really read the news either though. I did the crossword puzzle, but more importantly I read John Parris’s columns.
    The newspapers in John Parris’s times were all in black and white except his columns which, if you read his words, were splattered with color!
    Mr. Parris’s writing had a big influence on my writing. I don’t try to imitate him but I do often think, “How would John Parris describe this?”

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    March 11, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I wait to see the sarvice TREES blooming among the still in winter mountains .

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 11, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Just sit outside and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of Spring. What a joy. I am cleaning and hanging my hummingbird feeders today just in case they get here a few days early. March 15th seems to be the day in years past so I am hoping it will be this year too.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 9:54 am

    I LOVE spring and John Parris described it beautifully!! The daffodils started blooming, here in NE MS, the last of February. Back where I live in PA, the daffodils don’t start blooming til April. I was out on a walk yesterday and was shocked when I looked up at my Daddy’s old plum tree coming into bloom here in MS. I see the buds swelling up on Mother’s old hydrangea and the birds are singing it seems to each other. They say it may get to 80 today, it is usually in the 60’s, here at this time of the year, but I love the 60’s too. It is a joy just to be outside and enjoy the sunshine.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 11, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Yep, March has a way of having a sample of all the year’s weather mixed in there. When you think about it, it is the only month that does that. On the opposite end of the year, October is Indian summer. March is hard to dress for which tells one something. I’ve been working in the garden this week and start with a shirt jac over a long-sleeved shirt and a T-shirt. The shirt jac does last no time. The long-sleeve shrt goes next. But if I stop and cool off they go back on again. And that is just on a sunny calm day. Somebody needs to discover a shirt for all weather.

    I know a place I need to go where the daffodils are scattered all through the pine woods, emerald green against the cinnamon-colored pine straw. Last time I saw them, they were not blooming but I’m guessung they are now.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 9:34 am

    “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Parris could paint pictures with words.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 9:34 am

    I love spring too, the daffodils are blooming, trees budding out and one of my favorites, the dogwood trees blooming . Every time I see a dogwood blooming I think of the story you can find about how the cross Jesus was crucified on was made from a dogwood tree and when you look in the blooms you can see the nail prints and his blood. I ordered John Paris’s book Roaming the Mountains and got it yesterday, have only read a couple of stories,

    I read the old blog about drive in movies. There is still one in operation in Greenwood, SC on Hwy25. My grandson went to a movie there a few weeks ago. He didn’t say much about the movie, but he keeps talking about how big and good the hamburger was. They hand pat out the patties from fresh meat and fry them out on grill. I think the milkshakes are also made the old fashion way.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Spring is beautiful, because everything comes to life. So colorful and bright. God’s world light up with his beauty. He shares it with us. Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    March 11, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for sharing those words by John Parris. They certainly evoke some very pleasant and vivid memories of country hills, streams and dirt roads. Nowhere else can we walk and practically hear the voices of those who have traveled those roads, forded those streams and paused for a little while, perhaps take a swig of ground water and listen to the surrounding sounds of nature.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 9:13 am

    When the Easter flowers bloom and frogs sing, my world becomes a brighter place.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    March 11, 2021 at 8:24 am

    This brought to mind the lines of some song, “I saw it on the Radio” because when reading this post, I could vividly “see and hear” it on the written page.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 11, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I LOVE SPRING VERY MUCH!!!! Last night I watched 3 blister beetles before I mashed them but good! “My” woodpecker has been pecking his heart out up here!!! I love seeing the bees and birds. I love seeing everything sleeping come to life! I sat in the sun as long as I could for the past few days. I planted seed on Sunday. Have a blessed spring all BP&A friends!!! Let’s break through with optimism and praise for a better spring than last…..

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    March 11, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Be patient, spring is coming, spring is coming!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 11, 2021 at 7:46 am

    My dad loved John Parris! He read him in the paper every day and when he started with books my dad bought them. What Parris wrote of was my dad’s life, the life of country folks. I am very proud to say this is my heritage and I love it too. We are a hardy independent people not to be trifled with.
    I am happy to see/feel spring coming. Between the politics and the virus it had been a challenging few months!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2021 at 6:36 am

    I love reading John Parris. Thanks Tipper!

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