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Poor Will's Almanack: December 24 - 30, 2019

winter moon
class M planet
Flickr Creative Commons

Even as the cold deepens, the promises of the whole year ahead lie out before us in the names of its moons. Flollowing the last of December’s Silent Cricket Moon,

December 26, 2019: The Pussy Willow Cracking Moon cracks the darkness of winter with occasional revelations of its soft catkins

January 24: At the end of January, The Lambing and Kidding Moon starts the year for shepherds and goatherds as most lambs and kids are born.

February 23: Late February brings The Broody Hen Moon, when hens often grow possesseive of their eggs as winter ends

March 24: March ends with The Hungry Moon, the moon under which many pastures are still not rich enough to feed their hungry livestock.

April 22: introduces The Cows Switching Their Tails Moon when flies bother the cows and they drive them away with their tails

May 22: May’s The Corn and Soybean Planting Moon marks the major planting time for these commercial crops.

June 21: And June’s The Wheat and Alfalfa Cutting Moon brings autumn’s plantings to harvest

July 20: In July The Sweet Corn and Tomato Moon shines on all the garden’s best

August 18: In August, The Sheep and Goat Breeding Moon begins the gestation time for sheep and goats that ends in February

September 17: The Winter Grain Planting Moon of September initiates the sowing of grains that develop through the winter to be cut in June.

October 16: The Corn and Soybean Harvest Moon of October cuts the plantings of May

November 15:  Under the The Manger Moon farmers start to feed hay to their livestock as the pasture’s fade from the cold

December 14: And The Stell Moon of December shelters farm animals in stells or shelters against the snow and wind.

And through all of this, our own steps, our own phases, could be named according to the world we see, like moons,  guiding us in private seasons.

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, In the meantime, watch for the first pussy willows to crack in the thaws to come.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.