Beware the ughs of March

Ah, March. March in Maine. What can we say?

It’s Maine’s worst month. No “arguably” about it. It just is.

Winter is not over. Sure, sure spring starts in March. But it really doesn’t, if you know what I mean.

First of all, we lose that hour. I’m still a little cranky from springing forward, and plan to be for weeks. I know the whole country (almost) does the same, but we live in the easternmost state, so we don’t gain as much light, and the mornings are dark and cold.

As I write this, we’re bracing for a mid-week storm that’s being touted as “possibly the worst of the winter.” Can we just get this over with?

I once worked with a young reporter from Seattle. Around this time of year he asked a colleague and I when it “was going to start getting warm. Soon, right?” We just looked at each other and laughed. It was in New Hampshire, but same difference, as we say in Maine.

His protests that “spring was coming” just made us laugh harder.


It’s the month that, yeah we may write about it in our mysteries, but not the one readers remember no matter how hard we try to make it real. Because it’s just so… so… well, you know.

But you know what? Just the nature of March means it’s my obligation to say something nice about it. I couldn’t.

I went to the deck at my office to take a photo to show just how crummy March is and came back with this one.

Yeah, okay. That looks kind of nice. Really pretty actually. If someone from away saw it, they’d think I was full of crap.

So I went back into my photo libraries trying to find a photo I’d taken that shows, really, how awful March is.

Here’s the first one that came up. I think I took this at Owl’s Head in March 2011.

Dammit! That is NOT proving my point.

Here’s another try.

Okay. That doesn’t prove my point either, but it doesn’t really count because I took it while I was snowshoeing, which is always nice and scenic.

How about one just from me and my mom walking around our neighborhood last week?

Okay, that doesn’t count either, because they live in a nice neighborhood.

I know! I remember one from the first day of spring I took a couple years ago in Belgrade.

Yeah, I know. It’s pretty. Not horrible at all.

I give up. I can’t prove March is the worst month. In fact, those photos make it look pretty nice in a lot of ways.

You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at@mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at She hosts the podcast Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.


About Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at @mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at She hosts the podcast Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.
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11 Responses to Beware the ughs of March

  1. James Ridgway says:

    That is like it is here in the Black Hills in South Dakota. The saying here is if you so not like the weather just wait a minute and it will change. I seen is one day, it go from 75 degree weather to rain to snow and this was on the 4 of July. It has been a some time that this has happen, but as the saying go’s if you do not like the weather wait for it, and it will change.

  2. Calla says:

    Sooo enjoyed your March “meanderings”!

  3. Lea Wait says:

    Of course … there’s the mandatory March snowstorm (here it comes!) and orange signs posting (a little early) about heavy trucks not being allowed on certain roads because of mud. But — yesterday I stopped my car (in 6 degree weather, not counting wind chill) to look at the sparkling, crinkly border of ice separating the land from the water at high tide. Like a necklace of (shattered) diamonds. Gorgeous. Memorable. And a part of March.
    Still … I’m looking forward to blankets of crocuses. They’re under the ground and snow. Waiting. Thanks for the pictures! Wish I’d taken some yesterday.

  4. Lee says:

    “The Ughs of March”…absolutely perfect! My first visit to Maine was during the first week of April, 1990. (The first week of April is not that different from March, really, except for more mud.) I fell in love with the place anyway, and moved here ten years later. Your photos illustrate why. March is the price I willingly pay for all the rest of it.

  5. Amber Foxx says:

    You need pictures of the thick black crusts of dirt-snow on city streets, the stuff that will not melt. Pictures of the heaps in parking lots piled up by snowplows to get it out of the way. The trucks that come and get it and haul it off somewhere to melt. (Maybe.) March is maddening in Maine. I admit I don’t miss it. (Can you tell?) Garrison Keillor was probably talking about March in Minnesota when he said it was created to teach people who don’t drink what a hangover feels like. Could apply to Maine. Hope you get a good spring when it really starts.

  6. Skye says:

    These are all lovely pictures. I know some of you remain in Maine throughout the winter, and yes, the snow is on its way along the eastern seaboard.

  7. JT Nichols says:

    Amen! I hate this month with a passion! It’s 8° and when it warms up we can expect sleet! Aarrgh

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