Wednesday, May 13, 2009
May Moon Names
Eastern Cherokee moon: Planting Moon
(the strict translation is "the putting it in a hole moon")
Abenaki: Field Maker Moon
Algonquin: When Women Weed Corn
Winnibego: Hoeing Corn Moon
Anishnaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe): Blossom Moon
Apache: Season When the Leaves are Green
Northern Arapaho: When the Ponies Shed their Shaggy Hair
Assiniboine: Idle Moon
Hopi: Month of Waiting
Cree: Frog Month
Kalapuya: Camas Blooming Time
Haidi: Food-Gathering Moon
Creek: Mulberry Moon
Potawatomi and Shawnee: Strawberry Moon
Kiowa: Geese go North
Osage: Moon when the Little Flowers Die
The moon names are thanks to americanindian.net.
The full moon fell on Mother's Day this year, which seems particularly apt as mothers all over Vancouver surely dug their hands in the soil this past weekend. The Native American names for the full moon in May cover the range of agricultural and gatherer activities from planting, weeding, and hoeing to waiting and harvesting. The camas are strawberries are blooming here in the north and further south the strawberries and mulberries are ready to eat.
What is blossoming in Vancouver? Today I was heartened to see the queen bumble bees' first children foraging in these rhododendrons in the rain. My neighbour's dogwood blossoms were very interesting to the mason bees yesterday. My lilacs, azaleas, bleeding hearts, and forget-me-nots are blooming. In fact our whole block is heady with the muggy scent of lilac oils and cherry blossoms. The little flowers of the few rosemary plants that survived are blooming, along with lion's bane, anemones, tulips, and scads of fruit trees. There's a lot of pollen and nectar out there now and I fee a huge sense of relief for those foraging bees. Now we need some warm, sunny days for them to get out and about.
Meanwhile, somewhere in North America the ponies are shedding their hair and the geese are heading north. Somewhere the "little flowers" are dying and the new frogs are finding their legs. I am planting, weeding, worrying, trying to believe that my thumb is green and my magic beans will grow. Mothers and gardens: their histories are intertwined as bean vines and sunflower stalks. I have to trust that the sunflowers I planted will take root, tap the fresh May rain out of the rich soil and reach up to the light. The same goes for our son, metaphorically speaking. He's going through a growth spurt right now too.
I think it will be a good year for beespeaking. Now if only I could learn to talk to slugs. I'd send them over to the vacant lot down the street!