The new solar year, having opened with the winter solstice, lies open with all its moons waiting.
The first moon of 2019 new next week is the Squashy Osage Moon, a Moon that remembers that ripens and breaks the fat, green Osage fruits of autumn, measuring the first advance of the year.
In Feburary, a new sign of the coming spring: The Skunk Courting Moon, under which not only skunks but most small mammals like foxes and opossums seek mates.
The Moon of March is the Cabbage White Butterfly Moon, announding the first butterflies of the year.
In April, the Cows Switching Their Tails Moon warns of pesky flies in the barnyard.
The May Moon is the Golden Buttercup Moon, a moon of golden spring flowers.
In June, the Milkweed Beetle Mating Moon shines upon the new, sweet fragrance of the milkweed plants that not onky attract milkweed beetles but the monarch butterflies due to arrive in the Midwest this month.
Under July’s Finches in the Thistledown Moon, the thistles of Early Summer go to seed and become food for finches.
In August, the Black Walnut Leafdrop Moon announces the start of a radical shift in the fortunes of summer.
September’s Autumn Apple Picking Moon coincides with the annual harvest of autumn apples.
The High Leaf Color Moon of October is the moon of peak leaf color thoughout the North and Midwest.
November’s Sleeping Frog Moon watches over the annual migration of frogs and toads as they seek to hibernate before winter.
The Silent Cricket Moon of December commemorates the last of the year’s insects and the silence of winter nights.
Finally, as 2020 begins, the Pussy Willow Cracking Moon introduces another gauge for the progress of the winter, the pussy willows opening one by one through January and February until they are all open and get their golden pollen.
Of course, when one thing is happening, something else is happening, too. The moons are only a glimpse of what lies beneath them.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of Deep Winter and the transition week for the Squashy Osage Fruit Moon. In the meantime, think about what your moon names will be this year. I made up these. You can make up your own.