Witt’s End

It's Not About Stories People Tell, It's About …

The last full moon of the winter season was/is bright and shiny tonight. I say was/is because here in northeast Ohio you take advantage of clear sky when you can get it. Thus, I was out last night (March 5) photographing the moon because the weather gods were not going to smile upon us for the real full moon, March 6. Okay, not to put too fine a point on this, technically, the moon will be full at 7:42 am on March 7. It looks full for a day on either side of the actual moment of fullness. I was out early in the evening, trying out a new piece of equipment and subsequently whacked off part of the moon’s head. Sorry Luna. From this image, however, you’ll get the picture. It’s made from a stack of about 1,000 separate images shot with my ZWO ASI 224 MC astro camera, and Explore Scientific ED80CF scope, stacked in ASI’s stacking program. Needless to say, I like the results. It was also shot when the moon was low so I picked up some of the golden hour glow.

Why is it called the Worm Moon? Okay, now the rest of the story. Depends on your source of info, however, most almanacs claim it’s because by this time in the calendar year, March, the ground has warmed enough for earth worms to emerge. Maybe. I prefer the story of Captain Jonathan Carver who visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and other Native American tribes In the 1760s, and wrote that the name Worm Moon refers to a different sort of “worm”—beetle larvae—which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time. This story seems to have more class than worms crawling out of the ground.

Research brings up a lot of other names for this, the last full moon of winter, Eagle Moon and Goose Moon from the Algonquin, Cree people. Sugar Moon from the Ojibwa has a nice ring (and tastes good). Or, Windy Strong Moon from Pueblo, which refers to windy days in the southwest parts of our country. And one that will never get traction in my part of the country, Sore Eyes Moon from the Dakota, Lakota, and Assiniboine people. The name derives from the blinding rays of sunlight that reflect off the melting snow of late winter. Not much sun around here.

2 thoughts on “Worm Your Way Out Of This One

  1. Susan Jones says:

    Soooooooo interesting! Personally I like Windy Strong Moon..And that golden hour light is yummy.
    Am so pleased you are back on the blog, Clyde. Gives us something more to think about, to learn, and to enjoy. -Susan


  2. Ciba says:

    I love learning about all the full moon names. I wasn’t aware there were so many for the same date and season. So interesting. And so much easier when you do the research. It keeps me out of the Google rabbit holes.
    The photo is instantly one of my favorites! The detail is stunning. Is that a landing pad bottom center??
    Thank you, Clyde! I am really enjoying all of your blogs.


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