It’s Friday, February 14, 2014, and it’s a full moon. How often does that happen?!
Officially at 6:53 pm EDT, we welcome this month’s full moon. If we’re fortunate, it will be a starry clear night and we may even hear a coyote….
Why Snow Moon?
Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult. Storm Moon, Little Famine Moon, and Full Bony Moon are other traditional names for February’s full moon.
Some say a full moon brings frost in the spring and fall and extreme cold in the winter. There seems to be research that points to a correlation between the full moon and cloudiness, rainfall and thunder. Weather records confirm that the first few days after a full moon, rain and storms are more likely.
February Love Facts From the Wild
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, here are a few things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask regarding the mating of certain animals!
- Skunks mate in Ohio in late February.
- Great horned owls are the only animal that feeds on skunks with regularity! Great horned owls do not feed exclusively on skunks, but instead feed on a wide variety of prey species. Great horned owls nest during the months of January and February. During mating season, male and female great horned owls hoot back and forth to each other. Their mating rituals include bowing to each other and rubbing bills. When ready to nest, they do not build their own nest but instead seek out existing sites such as the nests of other birds, squirrel nests, tree holes, crevaces in rocks and nooks in buildings.
- Eastern gray squirrels breed twice a year, December to February and May to June, though this is slightly delayed in more northern latitudes.The first litter is born in February to March, the second in June to July.
- Chipmunks may mate as early as February and may be seen running across remnants of winter snow.
- Wolves typically mate for life. In the northern United States, they breed from late January through March.
- Coyote’s breeding season is from January to March, and the gestation period is about 63 days. The male and female usually maintain pair bonds for several years.
The Full Snow Moon …
The full snow moon will rise to see
what once were fields of hay,
She’ll gaze upon the barren rows,
snowed in from yesterday.
She’ll share her night with stars ablaze,
yet spreading little heat
To scarecrow, guarding fallow patch,
they come as faint relief.
Where gobblers swarmed the woodland’s edge,
now nothing’s in its prime.
She’s much too late for deer and fawn
they’re bedded down this time.
O’er peaks she’ll rise then wander on
though smaller still as bright.
She’ll gaze upon the snow packed trees,
and shine the owls in flight.
In valley low the sleepy town,
dreams sweet of Summertime,
Yet steeple bells still glisten gold,
protected, they still shine.
The steam, now frozen in the lake,
bespeaks what used to grow.
The midnight dew – oppressive frost,
takes hold of all exposed.
Before the dawn she still must prod
the farmer from his dreams.
There’s cows to milk, the pigs need corn,
the work of winter scenes.
Then reverently she’ll shine her last
and leave behind the chill.
A glowing ball of vivid orange
she’ll set beyond the hill …
Snow Moon or Hunger Moon – it’s full, it’s Friday, and it’s Valentine’s Day weekend.
The perfect night to tell someone special how much you love them.