moon on a blue sky
Paul Cooper / Flickr Creative Commons

The Pussy Willow Cracking Moon becomes the new Lambing and Kidding Moon at 1:45 a.m. on January 24.

This moon presides over the period during which most sheep and goats give birth. 

Complementing this surge in the farming year, the first week of the Lambing and Kidding Moon opens skunk cabbage in the swamps.

The second week of this moon brings cardinals into song every morning about half an hour before dawn.

By full moon time, doves join the cardinals, and maple sap runs in the maples.


In The Heights is the Muse Machine musical starring more than 100 young people from across the Miami Valley. It has been praised by The Dayton Daily News as “a performing arts all-star effort” and The Oakwood Register has called it “an evening of true theatrical joy... ”  It is now through Sunday.

The Cincinnati Reds are coming to the USAF Museum tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am to 12:30pm.

Aullwood in winter
Aullwood Audobon / via https://www.facebook.com/AullwoodAudubon/

The Greater Dayton Home Show is at the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds and you can see home improvement specialists from kitchen & bath, HVAC, sunrooms, lawn equipment, windows, landscaping, and much more! It is this weekend today, Saturday and Sunday.

A Grown-Up Game Night dedicated to board games has a variety of games you can play including Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Forbidden Island, Dixit, and Dominionon. This is at the Woodbourne Library tonight from 5:30 to 8:30pm.

winter sky featuring orion
Rob Pettengill / Flickr Creative Commons

The rising of Orion after 9:00 p.m. continues to be the most dramatic event of an Deep Winter evening. The seven sisters, the Pleiades, and the constellation Taurus, precede it.

Due north of Polaris, the Little Dipper hangs in the sky overhead before midnight. North-northeast, the Big Dipper hugs the horizon. Due east, Cancer has just come up. Due south, the gangly formations of Cetus, Fornax and Eridanus wander along the tree line. In the far west, Aquarius pushes Delphinus into the Pacific Ocean.

smilla4 / Flickr Creative Commons

Although the  character of an entire season is difficult to predict, particular periods of the winter are subject to lunar forces that affect tides as well as the severity of storms.

The first major storm period of the New Year (after the New Year’s Eve weather)  can be expected to occur between January 9 and 14, when the continent is subject to full moon as well as to perigee, the moon’s position closest to Earth.

The next storm period arrives at the end of the January thaw with the new moon coinciding with the second-last front of the month, around January 24 or 25.

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.

The Barrel House in Dayton

At the dessert beer fest The Barrel House is tapping eight different beers to satiate anyone with a sweet tooth! They are also releasing cans of Interstate Pastry Fight with their chocolate cream-filled donut imperial stout collaboration with Streetside Brewery! This is tonight 6 to 9pm.

The Victorian Christmas Buffet is providing ham & chicken entrees with all your favorite sides. This is at the Dayton Women's Club on Sunday at 5:30pm.

winter solstice sunrise
It's No Game / Flickr Creative Commons

Almost all the leaves are down, the old year spent and scattered. Even as storms bring wind and snow to close this season, the defiant and prophetic buds of pussy willows grow fat,

A new year is beginning. It is time to watch for spring.

2019 Downtown Dayton Holiday Festival
Downtown Dayton Partnership / via www.facebook.com/DowntownDayton

Renewal and Regeneration. This is the eighth annual Glen Helen Solstice and Holiday Poetry Reading. It’s in the Vernet Ecological Center here in Yellow Springs on Friday from 7 to 9pm.

Shop Strong Saturday encourages everyone to think about small local businesses when spending holiday dollars this season. The promotions include an interactive Downtown Dayton Holiday Wish List.

bare trees on a cloudy winter sky
octobergirl / Flickr Creative Commons

I wander into the fields and woods this soft and cloudy morning.

Clover is keeping the paths green, along with some dandelions, some plantain. Wind rustles the dry grass and the brittle leaves. I can hear distant crows but no other birds for the first miles. Then the whinny of a robin as though it were frightened or had been attacked.

Craneflies follow me up into High Prairie. Moss is still bright beside me, becomes the dominant green in the woods. A few red raspberry branches and a bank of honeysuckles keep their leaves.