Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is a New York Emmy award winner (2007), five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' in Connecticut (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction (2012 & 2013) ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Full Worm Moon Happens Today

The Full Moon happens this afternoon at 1:08 EDT. This month's Full Moon is known as the Full Worm Moon. However, the March Full Moon has also been called the Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon, and Lenten Moon. Unfortunately, another storm system is bringing up to a half-foot of snow to the region, so we won't see the Moon when it is completely full.

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the Northern and Eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring Full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.

As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, signaling the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon and was considered to be the last full Moon of Winter.

This time of the year, the sunlight is getting stronger, temperatures are slowly rising, and the frozen ground begins to thaw. You can tell the worms have begun to come awake when you find the little curly mounds of dirt on the ground. These mounds, or castings are part of nature's way of preparing the Earth for new growth. Then the flowers and herbs and trees and green grass suddenly burst out and let us know Spring is here.