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Thaw should help maple sap run near the end of January
Jan. 21-27, 2013

The sun and the stars are pieces of our inner habitat as well as segments of the greater landscape. They are part of the concentric circles of our awareness, and of the contours of our brain. They bend and soften linear time. They connect us with the round, rotating years, with the rest of our lives, as well as with others.
-Eliades Quintana

Lunar phase and lore

The Spinning Cranefly Moon waxes throughout the week, turning full on Jan. 26 at 11:38 p.m. Rising in the afternoon and setting in the early morning, the moon will move across the sky in the middle of the night, making nighttime the best time for ice fishing (or midday – the second-best time), especially as the cold front of Jan. 25 approaches.

Lunar position in Leo right after full moon favors pruning, trimming feet on goats and sheep and cutting your own hair.

With the full moon coming next Saturday, expect emergency rooms and police stations to be busier than average that weekend. Be especially careful of drunk drivers on Friday night and Saturday night. If you go to a basketball game over the weekend, expect the fans to be rowdier than they usually are. 

Animals (like people) tend to be more skittish as the moon waxes full. Be careful of mares, ewes and does that are coming due in February or March; full moon can be associated with stress and abortions.

The period between full moon and the moon’s fourth quarter can encourage early birthing, so be ready for your animals to birth up to a week early near that time of the month.


Jan. 21: Get your pans or bottles ready for hand-feeding kids and lambs, but be sure to heat-treat the colostrum or milk before you use it. And be ready for kidding and lambing with heat lamps, blankets, disbudding boxes, nipple waterers and iodine or other disinfectant to treat the naval cord.

Jan. 22: Now is the time to clean out your bluebird nesting boxes: Bluebirds are on the wing. Reserve your spring chicks for March, April or May so they can gain weight throughout the summer and be ready to lay by autumn.

Jan. 23: By this time of year, the first dandelions could be flowering, and snow crocus and henbit could be budding. Sometimes moss is growing on logs, and pussy willows are popping from their hulls.

Sometimes tulip and grape hyacinth leaves are pushing out of the ground. Sometimes day lily foliage is up three inches, daffodil spears 4-8 inches.

Jan. 24: When the afternoons are sunny, pale Asian ladybeetles crawl out from hibernation in search of early prey, their soft presence on the delicate scales of time tipping the balance to spring.

Jan. 25: The brief season of late winter begins throughout the nation on Jan. 25. Although the end of the year’s first month is often one of the coldest times of the year, each thaw accelerates the swelling of buds and the appearance of early bulb foliage. If the January Thaw has been strong, expect sap to run in the maples, as the moon turns full.

Jan. 26: This is the time of year to watch for the first flocks of robins to arrive from the South. Bluebird sightings become more common, too, and by Jan. 26 cardinals ordinarily begin their mating songs half an hour before sunrise.

Junco movement also begins in mid-January; you may see them flocking by the side of the road, planning their journey to Canada.
Jan. 27: Jan. 27 is a pivotal statistical date in the fortunes of winter. Throughout the country, average temperatures, which had remained stable from the middle of January, climb 1 degree. That rise may not be obvious in any particular year, but it does represent the cumulative wisdom of all the years on record, revealing the inevitable turn of the Earth toward June.

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