Modern Moons
March is about sunlight and movement. This month will have at least eleven days of sunlight and perhaps sunshine to spur on the movement of plants, animals and humans. By the first week of the month sunlight will be accompanied by the still-cold airs of February, but by the end of the month not only the sunlight but the sunshine will be warmed up to mid-50s.
There is a difference between sunlight and sunshine. A scientific word, sunlight is just that-the light that reaches the earth from the sun. It can be little or great, depending on amount of clouds. Sunshine is a poetic type word. Sunshine includes the light but also the warmth from the sun.
Spring moves northward over the land at the rate of about 16 miles a day. As it spreads its cape over hills and valleys, it awakens birds to fly north with it; it stirs insects and earthworms to creep upward from their underground winter homes. It beckons humans from their winter rooms out into the air and sunlight. And by the end of the month, there will be spots of sunshine to sit in and contemplate activities that can only be accomplished in the coming months.
Traditionally March is the windy month but the Native Americans never named the full moon with wind. It was the Green Moon or for the Chippewa it was the Moon of Making Sugar. Today we might call it the Early Planting Moon, as many a gardener will fill cold frames with seeds and onion sets, hoping not only for sunlight but also life-giving warm sunshine.

Plans are being made here in the Greengate household. A fishing outing during the mornings of March 15-17 (said to be the best fishing days of the month) have Mr. Greengate working hard to accumulate the needed paraphernalia to begin fishing in the cold air of early morning and end in the warm, balmy airs of midafternoon. All the while, his favorite catch-crappies-are on his mind. As much as the new iridescent colors of jigs and crankbaits are eye-catching, he knows success at his favorite local lake is dependent on waxworms. Sunlight bounces off their white skin, sunshine warms the waters around them. Crappies find them irresistible.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Greengate is planning and plotting the new garden space. Expanded from last year’s, the plot will hold at least another two rows of beans and Swiss chard. A new, sturdier fence will be installed, high enough to keep the rabbits out and with a small gate so no humans will have to hop the thing to get into the garden. Arthritis tolerates no hopping.

Outside the Yard
 On the northern border of Ohio, in Lucas County, Sylvania will host the Olander Park Maple Sugaring Festival on March 19, 2016. Admission is free, hours are 1-4 p.m. Maple syrup on pancakes, in candy and as fudge are just a few of the treats that await visitors. Sap will be boiling, trees will be tapped, and wagon rides to Maple Market are all a part of this festival.
Further to the east in Medina County, at Hinckley, one will be able to watch the effects of spring on the move as buzzards return to their roosting sites. Observed this year on March 20, from 9 am to 2:30 pm, and free, all sorts of activities explore and celebrate the return of these large birds to Ohio. This annual celebration began back in 1957 and today draws thousands to the area.

Word of the Month
Albedo: The amount of the sun’s energy reflected back into space from the earth’s surface. About 33% of the sun’s energy bounces off the earth. Otherwise, our warm, inviting sunshine would scorch us.

Quote of the Month
“One key to contentment is to appreciate when you have plenty and understand why when you don’t.” American Proverb

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