Moonlight on Maple Buds…

March 18th, 2011 § 2 comments

Moonlight on Maple Buds

Watching the moon rise through bare tree limbs last night, I couldn’t help but notice changes taking place in the forest all around me. By night, swollen maple buds stand out in soft silhouette against the sky’s moonlit glow. And by day, hillsides filled with reddish twigs color the landscape in a hazy new wash of warm color.

Always a skywatcher, I am particularly keyed in to the “super moon” at perigee this month. March’s full moon is known by various Native American and Old English names, but because I live in Vermont —and March is sugaring season— I prefer to call this the Sap Moon. Also commonly known as the Worm Moon, Crow Moon or Lenten Moon, our near-by celestial neighbor will appear full tomorrow, March 19th at 2:10 pm ET (6:10 pm UTC). Because the moon is at perigee, it will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than it usually does. The timing of a perigee moon and a full moon is unusual; taking place once every couple of decades. For more information on this amazing lunar event, check out this article on the NASA Science site and this interesting article on Space.com.

Some gardeners pay close attention to the lunar cycles in order to follow moon-favorable planting traditions. Although I find old farm folklore fascinating, I tend to be more interested in my local frost date and soil temperatures when sowing seed and planting out my vegetable starts. See the Farmer’s Almanac (linked here) for a moon favorable seed sowing chart. Enter your zip code to access dates for your specific area. For more detailed information, visit your state’s cooperative extension service (The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a great list of state links here – love that Almanac!)

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§ 2 Responses to Moonlight on Maple Buds…"

  • julie says:

    Michaela,
    Thank-you hopefully we will be able to see it, we are expecting some rain here. It was beautiful last night!

    Julie

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi Michaela, I’ll have to take a look in the daylight tomorrow to see how far along ours are. We’re still in full swing with sugaring off here, so I think you’re ahead of us on this one. Although the temps stayed firmly above freezing last night, it looks like we’re safe for at least another week… And two fantastically fat full moons in a row! How lucky are we, eh? xo D.

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