Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Awakening Moon of March

By rights, March's full moon should be rising when there is no snow and one does not have to don a parka to go out and see it. Last evening, I shivered as I waited for Lady Moon to put in an appearance in the inky sky, but it was a happy night for all that. The geese are returning, and so are turkey vultures, various hawks, starlings, robins and other songbirds.

This is the eve of Ostara or the Vernal Equinox, and light and darkness are hovering in perfect balance. In the northern hemisphere, this moon is often called the Moon of Awakening by indigenous cultures. It usually rises when the maple syrup season is in full swing, when the woodlands are full of Saw-whet Owl songs, migratory birds are returning in great singing throngs and trees everywhere are budding out. I say usually, because this year there is an astonishing amount of snow about, and temperatures are colder than they normally are at this time of year - the maple syrup season is just starting because of the unseasonably cold weather. It will be many weeks before I hear loons calling across the lake or watch herons moving majestically along the shore at sunset.

Whatever the weather last evening, the moon was gloriously bright, and one could not help but think of the springtime which is slowly making its way northward. I watched that magnificent moon rising like an Easter egg and thought of roses and butterflies and dew-ornamented spider webs in the garden like minute expressions of Indra's diamond net. The only thing which would have improved the experience would have been a flock of geese winging their way right across the moon's face and down to the river. That would have been sublime, but I was contented with things as they were. In my eldering years, I am (perhaps) learning a little patience and can wait for warmer nights and other moons. Every velvet night and every lustrous moon is a gift.

We also know this moon as:

Alder Moon, Big Famine Moon, Big Winds Moon, Blossoming Out Moon, Bud Moon, Buffalo Dropping Their Calves Moon, Catching Fish Moon, Chaste Moon, Cherry Blossom Moon, Cold’s End Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Daffodil Moon, Death Moon, Deer Moon, Eagle Moon, Goose Moon, Green Moon, Growth Begins Moon, Hard Crust on the Snow Moon, Hertha's Moon, Hyacinth Moon, Lenten Moon, Little Frog Moon, Little Sand Storm Moon, Little Spring Moon, Lizard Moon, Long Days Moon, Maple Sweetness Moon, Middle Finger Moon, Moon of Earth Awakening, Moon of Opening Hands, Moon of the Crane, Moon of the Snowblind, Moon of the Whispering Wind, Moon of Winds, Moon When Buffalo Cows Drop Their Calves, Moon When Eyes Are Sore from Bright Snow, Moon When the Leaves Break Forth, Moon When the Geese Return, Moose Hunter Moon, Much Lateness Moon, Ogroni Moon, Plow Moon, Rebirth Moon, Renewal Moon, Sap Moon, Seed Moon, Sleepy Moon, Snow Blind Moon, Snow Crust Moon, Snowshoe Breaking Moon, Storm Moon, Strawberry Moon, Sucker Fishing Moon, Sugar Making Moon, Trail Sitting Moon, Tree Peony Moon, Violet Moon, Water Stands in the Ponds Moon, Wind Strong Moon, Windy Moon and Worm Moon.

I am rather fond of Moon of Earth Awakening, Maple Sweetness Moon and Rebirth Moon.

Happy Ostara or Vernal Equinox if you live in the northern hemisphere, Happy Mabon or Autumn Equinox if you live in the south. A very happy Nowruz (or Persian New Year) if you are of Persian ancestry, and if you are Jewish, a very happy Purim to you and your clan.


Steven Crisp said...

Yet another of your awesome moon photos. Have you ever given a description of the mechanics of how you take such great photographs? I know I'd be interesting in learning your tips and techniques.


Tabor said...

I took a number of photos with a point and shoot and a DSLR and none came out as lovely as this. Still, it WAS a lovely moon.

Mystic Meandering said...

Absolutely mesmerizing! You are truly gifted. A "photo artist." May all the bright moons always light your way... Christine

Angie said...

Oh my goodness, Cate, this photo is absolutely stunning!!! You really are such a fabulous photographer...and makes me MAYBE I DO want a 'big girl' camera, along with other lenses and bells and whistles. :D Happy Ostara, my dear Northern friend!

the spirit that moves me said...

Wow, this photograph is absolutely stunning. And thank you for the detailed explanation and education about this particular moon. It was a magical night indeed.

the wild magnolia said...

Splendid shot of "The Lady"!

These eldering years are a hoot. One is always learning whether young or old.

The loons, from "On Golden Pond", I love them.

Blessed evening.

kerrdelune said...

Steven, I am working up an article on moon shots and hope to post it here one of these days. The procedure varies slightly month to month and weather to weather, but I am getting the basics down. Now that the weather is getting warmer, standing outside with camera and tripod is a more comfortable proposition.

Frito said...

Well I certainly look forward to your instructional post. Thanks for sharing your pictures, wisdom, and insights.

Steven Crisp said...

Oops. That last post came from my dog. Sorry about that ;-)