March’s Full Worm Moon

March’s Full Worm Moon is named for the time when the ground softens…

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It’s the first Full Moon of Spring, although in many locations, this Moon arrives between the seasons. As snows melt and chlorophyll rushes up to green the grass, earthworm castings begin to appear everywhere; this draws the robins, the plump and friendliest of backyard birds. It’s a time for leaping forward and for clearing any remaining cobwebs, for releasing what doesn’t serve your future growth.

At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

Snow slowly begins to melt, the ground softens, and earthworms show their heads again and their castings or fecal matter can be found. Other signs of spring gave rise to other variations: the cawing of crows (the Crow Moon); the formation of crusts on the snow from repeated thawing and freezing (the Crust Moon); and the time for tapping maple trees (the Sap Moon). Christian settlers also called this the Lenten Moon and considered it the last moon of winter.  It has also been called the Death Moon.

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The Full Worm Moon will light up the skies Sunday (March 12). This will be the last full moon of the winter season, rising just eight days before the vernal equinox, or spring.

In the U.S., the moon will be at its fullest at 9:54 a.m. EDT (1454 GMT). Because the moon rises in the evening for viewers along the East Coast, many Americans will not see the moon at peak fullness. The moon, however, will be between 99 and 100 percent illuminated from March 11 to March 13, so there will be plenty of time to check out its brightly glowing face.

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Skywatchers in Hawaii will be able to catch the exact moment the moon is fullest before sunrise, at 4:54 a.m. HST, while those in the Middle East and surrounding areas of the Eastern Hemisphere will see the moon reach peak fullness after it pokes over the horizon in the evening.

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