Saturday, March 2, 2013

Full Worm Moon

One of our new calendars for 2013 is The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar, courtesy of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. We noted that it features the names of full moons as they were known to Native American tribes in what is now the Eastern and Northern United States.  March features Full Worm Moon (scheduled to appear March 27) so named because the ground will soften and worms will appear. More northerly tribes knew this as the Full Crow Moon; crows got active; around here, alas, even seeing crows, which were quite numerous a few years ago, is always an event! Another Nordic name was Full Crust Moon, a name derived from the behavior of snow, which melts and then freezes again, leaving a hard crust; we’ve just seen that sort of crusty snow quite recently around here. For a look at all moon names, try this link.

What the Old Farmer’s Almanac does not say is how the Indians measured the lunar month. Different cultures have different start and stop dates. They either measure from new to new or from full to full. If from new to new, today is still Full Snow Moon (or Full Hunger Moon—conditions being terrible for hunting); that month began February 10. If from full to full, this lunar month began February 27.

Leaving the tent late at night for a last look at the calendar in the sky. Sigh. Quite a while yet until Full Pink Moon in April comes—signaled by herb moss pink (Phlox subulata) the earliest plant to flower in the Spring.

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