Monday, March 01, 2010

The Hunger Moon of February

This month's moon usually makes its appearance when it is icy cold in the north. This year for some reason, the night was mild, clouding up a little later and raining through the darkness and on into early morning.

For me, this full moon has to be the Owl Moon, for the great birds are nesting now, and I know of at least one nest (or nursery) in an old oak tree near the beaver pond at the back of the Two Hundred Acre Wood. Around this time every year, the The Saw-whet Owl (or sugar bird) is courting, and many other northern owls are caught up in the same timeless seasonal rituals of bonding and parenting. In February, love, fertility and the perpetuation of one's genetic materials are in the air. The same is true for northern woodpeckers, particularly the Hairy.

Here we are again, looking morosely at the size of our wood piles, surveying the contents of our freezers, counting the sealers in our larders and hoping that there will be enough to last us until springtime arrives. If we can hang on for a few more weeks, the full moon of March promises relief and sweetness too, for the splendid wild alchemy of the maple syrup season will be in full swing when the next full moon makes its appearance, and (hallelujah) the geese will on their way home.

Last year at this time, I mentioned a favorite book of recipes and seasonal customs, and it seems both prudent and appropriate to do so again this year as I am rereading it. For a fine trove of moon lore and thoughtful observations about the ways in which humanity have traditionally hunted, gathered, cooked and "put things by" for the long nights, read Jessica Prentice's Full Moon Feasts. Her book, subtitled "Food and the Hunger for Connection", follows the thirteen moons of an agricultural year, beginning with this month's Hunger Moon. Each of the thirteen chapters contains recipes which are in tune with the timeless rhythms of the season.

We also know this moon as the: Ash Moon, Big Winter Moon, Bone Moon, Bony Moon, Budding Moon, Chestnuts Moon, Cold Winds Moon, Coyotes Frighten Moon, Crow Moon, Dark Red Calves Moon, Death Moon, Eagle Moon, Fish Running Moon, Frost Sparkling in the Sun Moon, Gray Moon, Horning Moon, Ice in River Is Gone Moon, Ice Moon, Index Finger Moon, Little Bud Moon, Long Dry Moon, Makes Branches Fall in Pieces Moon, Mimosa Moon, Moon of Ice, Moon of Purification and Renewal, Moon of Rabbit Conception, Moon of the Cedar Dust Wind, Moon of the Raccoon, Moon of the Frog, Moon When Geese Come Home, Moon When Bear Cubs are Born, Moon When Spruce Tips Fall, Moon When Trees Pop, Moon When Trees Are Bare and Vegetation Is Scarce, Narcissus Moon, No Snow in Trails Moon, Owl Moon, Peach Blossom Moon, Pink Moon, Plum Blossom Moon, Primrose Moon, Quickening Moon, Raccoon Moon, Rain and Dancing Moon, Red and Cleansing Moon, Second Moon, Snow Crust Moon, Snow Moon, Solmonath (Sun Moon), Squint Rock Moon, Staying Home Moon, Storing Moon, Storm Moon, Sucker Fish Moon, Sucker Moon, Trapper’s Moon., Treacherous Moon, Violet Moon, Wexes Moon, Wild Moon, Wind Moon , Wind Tossed Moon, Winter Moon

The photo looks much better when viewed in its larger size, and a simple click on it will get you there.


Anonymous said...

As I gazed at the moon last night through the stark outline of the trees outside my window, I was struck with how beautiful and full of promise this looked to me. A wisp of a cloud drifted by, momentary darkness, then silver light began flooding outward again onto my face. The "hunger" is palpable....

Anonymous said...

I love that book! One of my absolute favorites.

~Flaneuse in DC