March

The full moon tonight brings with it a different kind of sky watching.  The wind and dropping temperatures signal a front moving through.  The clouds at 10 PM are wispy, but there’s a haze developing in the sky and it won’t be long before it’s overcast.  We have weather moving in.

Going out for a walk when you’ve settled in after dinner is a mental hurdle akin to getting up and doing a workout.  You’re always happier for having done it, but every day is a test of willpower.  Bodhi is a creature of habit though, and that’s usually enough to push me out the door.  Thank you for that Bodhi.

The breeze sounds different in winter than it does in the summer.  The oaks, maples and poplars are still bare and largely silent save for the clickity-clack of high branches fighting for space.  In winter the white pines sing alone with the breeze.  Pine needles shush like a parent coaxing a baby to sleep.  Ponderosa Pine needles in the southwest are bigger and make an assertive shushing sound in the wind.  Eastern White Pines, with their smaller needles and taller reach for the sky, offer a hushed shush.  Some of the trees in my neighborhood are mature, likely in the 120-130 foot range.  And at these heights the needles tango in the breeze, producing the nights music.

The full moon backlights the clouds as they sprint across the sky east to west, offering a muted kaleidescope of white, grays and navy blues.  As the haze develops so too does a halo around the moon.  There’s an old expression; “ring around the moon means rain soon”.  Rain is certainly in the forecast.  It seems our ancesters know what they were talking about with those expressions.  In this developing haze, most stars concede the night to the moon, but Sirius, Procyon and Capella hold their own.  Such is the sky on this March 1st evening in New Hampshire.