Full Moon Phenology

The first Spring Full Moon (meteorologically speaking) has been and gone and our distant planet is on the wane once more. I have found it intriguing over the years how the moon phases, more especially the Full Moon, alter the flora and fauna around us. Maybe it is my overactive imagination but with the lengthening of daylight also increasing, are there not observable changes? Let us recap the first ten days of March, phenologically speaking.

On the 2nd March I first observed the emergence of leafing Elder (Sambucus), the mean date of this event returning 4th March, based on twelve records. Come the 3rd March my brother confirmed a Thunder day (Thunder heard or lightning seen). Personally, I was away at a B.T.O conference so could not confirm this event. The very first Thunder day, based on sixteen records also returns a mean date of 4th March. Weather wise, the 4th March was a wet day, hoorah! Of the 12.6mm, which fell during that day, a small proportion was actually melted wet snow. Between the 5th and 7th March, things calmed down once again until the arrival of the Full Moon 8th March.

A Siskin (Carduelis spinus) visited our garden feeders for the first time in ages, although if you are lucky they may be heard calling in the vicinity. On this day (8th March), the raptors were very noticeable with two Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) and two Red Kites (Milvus milvus) circling above our suburban patch. A Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) visiting us on the very next day. The phenological indicators were not overlooked with the following being witnessed. The first emergence of Flowering Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), Flowering Wild Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) and the first leafing of Hawthorn (Crataegus) all observed during the busy 8th March.  Looking closely once again at the dates of average occurrence of these events, they return the 5th March, 9th March and 12th March respectively.

Breaking news for today (1oth March) has been my first garden Frogspawn and first emergence of Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni). Once again when looking at the averages, the returns are the 9th March and 12th March, both being based on a healthy sample of records.

As to the future, many more phenological events will be likely as warmer weather is in the forecast. In fact, even as I type this, the warmest day of the year is happening with the Air Temperatures approaching the mid-60’s Fahrenheit. Oh how I love this time of year!

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

6 thoughts on “Full Moon Phenology

  1. It’s all happening. My plum tree has started to blossom in the last few days and blackbirds and house sparrows are gathering nesting material from my garden.

    1. Indeed Finn. You can expect a whole host of activity from migrant birds, insects, flowering and leafing shrubs, bushes and trees especially from the magical spring equinox onwards. Looking forward to the sunnier and warmer days of true spring, assuming we haven’t used them up beforehand.

      Best Wishes

      Tony

  2. I am excited that you visited and liked http://www.insectamonarca.wordpress.com just so I could learn about your site. I find it intriguing. In NW Wisconsin, we should have snow on the ground. Instead it was 60 – 70 degrees all week. This is not natural. I haven’t had time to dig up some of the medicinal herbs that are showing themselves. I am busy writing and inside while nature comes alive in my own yard. Each day I go out and spend at least an hour or two working on the property. My next project is to dig up some the herbs and place them in small pots, to share with others. Thanks for showing me your passion and nature observations. Cheers.

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