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Worm Moon

As I write this post I’m well aware that you might be reading it on a beautiful, late winter/early spring day with melting snow, hints of spring bulbs emerging and noticeably later sunsets. Maybe the clocks have sprung forward and you’ve enjoyed a few rare, treasured pops of spring color.

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On the other hand, it could be snowing. Our late February snow provided some beautiful scenes, slight disruptions and a not too subtle reminder that it is still winter. We might not be suffering from the record breaking snowfall others are experiencing across the country, but the most recent measurable snow did show us a lovely side of winter.

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As difficult as it is to get aboard natures swinging pendulum, it’s not difficult to be affected. For many of us, the unpredictability is difficult – when I see the fuzzy buds on a magnolia tree my mind easily wanders to the vision of saucer magnolias only months away. It’s hard to know whether to keep all the wool clothing at hand or break out the lighter weight gear. Maybe the best approach is to just assume you won’t know from one day to the next much less from morning to evening.

Within days after February’s snowfall as the sun started to melt the snow in earnest, I noticed, and heard, the distinct sound of Robins gathering in the yard. They looked like they were dancing on the few remaining patches of crusty snow beneath my Juniper tree, home to many nests. Later, as I got ready for bed, I noticed a bright light through the small, high window in our bathroom and thought a light was left on by mistake.

Annoyed, I got out of the warm bed to turn off the light and noticed the source of the bluish tinged illumination wasn’t from a light – it was a beautiful, brilliant crescent moon hanging low in the sky and accompanied by two planets.


The sight reminded me of a few treasured books we read to the twins when they were young. Many of our favorites (in addition to Goodnight Moon) had something to do with the moon: Eric Carle’s Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me and Thirteen Moons on a Turtle’s Back by Joseph Brucha. It’s not difficult to understand why so many of us are enchanted with the sight, and emotions, of a beautiful moon.

The last Full Moon (in February) was, appropriately, referred to as the Snow Moon. We didn’t need the Farmer’s Almanac to guide us on that one. Whether the moon’s origins reside in folklore (Wolf Moon), seasons (Harvest Moon) and/or any other numerous origins, a full moon can be inspirational and insightful.

The next Full Moon, on March 5th, is known as the Worm Moon. Not exactly romantic or poetic but quite apt because it reflects exactly what we are experiencing in nature.

No matter what the weather is as you read this, the ground is beginning to warm and as a result, the earthworms begin to make an appearance. Their heads and castings come close to the earth’s service – the birds know it and that’s why we’re seeing Robins, among others, gathering and pecking at the earth.


Although some of us might be tempted to call this month unpredictable and want to insert “Pot Hole” for “Worm” Moon, if you do see the full Moon in the coming week, try to read what is written in the sky. Warming temperatures named this Full Moon but if you’re not satisfied, maybe you’ll enjoy next month’s Pink Moon (think creeping phlox) and when all else fails? The Full Moon in May is known as The Flower Moon.

Posted By: Emily Stashower Behnkes Guest Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Beautiful! It IS difficult to deal with the “swinging pendulum” that nature brings us at this time of year, and I am ready for Spring. I hope to look up this evening to see this Worm Moon, which will be a reminder to me that Spring is on its way!

  2. Thank you for the insightful and kind comments, Patti. Considering today’s snowfall (in our area is could be 9 inches) Spring seems far away – ironic tonight is Spring’s Worm Moon, isn’t it? Think Spring!

  3. Thank you, Emily. I felt warmed by your stories of the Moon and the books you loved from childhood. I’ve ordered your recommendations for my granddaughter. I’ll be sure to go out and look for the Worm Moon tonight when the sky clears and know that Spring is about to make her appearance.

  4. What a beautiful comment, Kathy, and I am touched by your words. I really hope you, and your granddaughter, love those books – they were treasures for us and even though my twins are now young adults, those books are still on our bookshelves (maybe someday I will be reading them to a grandchild). Yes, please look in the sky and even if you can’t see the moon through the clouds, it’s the premise that’s important. I really hope you continue to enjoy Behnkes’ blogs and it really would be great if you dropped a line to let me know how the books went over with your granddaughter!

  5. I live next door to the sky and always appreciate the various scenes it presents before I go to sleep…clouds, stars, moon…..fill me with gratitude and wonder. I did not know about the “worm moon” but noticed your photograph of the moon showed the precise vision I had seen the night before (we are seven hours ahead of you). So I’ve looked at your blog and what an interesting one it is! It contains a whole world out there I know nothing about. Thank you, Emily.
    Love, Susan

  6. Thank you for this beautiful column! I loved the pictures and, as always, was touched by your lovely prose. It was indeed a beautiful moon, and I thought of all you shared as I drank it in the other night while I was in the Shenandoah Valley. I love your insights, information, and photos!

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to read Worm Moon and write these lovely comments. More illustration of the allure, mystery and significance of a Full Moon (particularly at this time of year). It’s particularly touching to see that the comments cross time zones, planting zones and all climates yet it resonates with so many. Nature’s a uniting and powerful force1

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