Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Weekly Roundup 8: In Like a Lion

From a brisk breeze to a howling gale, every day of March so far has been windy here in Colorado. The month is definitely coming in like a lion, as the saying goes. I've always assumed the phrase "in like a lion, out like a lamb" was attributed to Shakespeare. After all, he gave us such gems as "wild goose chase," "brave new world," "too much of a good thing," "neither rhyme nor reason," and "cruel to be kind."

But the Paris Review credits Thomas Fuller’s 1732 Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, ancient and Modern, Foreign and British for coining "Comes in like a Lion, Goes out like a Lamb."

There's also some question about whether the saying might be related to the positions of the constellations. In early March, Leo the Lion is on the eastern horizon at sunset. At the end of the month, Aries the Ram is on the western horizon.

Whatever the explanation, the phrase often feels very accurate when the cold winds of early March are a' blowin. (It apparently has nothing to do with the Lunar New Year lions that bring luck and prosperity, I just thought I'd throw that picture in here.)

How about another idiomatic expression: to crane one's neck? This one is pretty obvious. It means to stretch your neck much like a crane does, in order to get a better look at something. 

I saw lots of necks craning last weekend when I visited Colorado's San Luis Valley to spy some migrating Sandhill Cranes. In the spring, these birds famously flock in the thousands to an area around Kearney, Nebraska. But they also pass through southern Colorado, which IMHO is more beautiful than Nebraska any day.

We had a lovely morning of crane watching before, you guessed it, the winds kicked up.

Hang onto your hats and have a great week!


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