Modern Moons

Grandfather Greengate used to say May in Ohio is just about as good as it gets anywhere. Weather is settling into a warm pattern, just what’s needed for wildlife, plant life and humans to flourish. Forecasts call for this month to be in the 60-70 degree range with warmish nights in the 40-50s. As rains move through look for rainbows, moon bows, sundogs, moon dogs and crepuscular rays.

How fast does a rain drop fall? It depends on the size of the water droplet and wind speed. It can vary from less than one mph to sixteen miles mph. What shape is a raindrop? The artistic term is pear or tear shaped. But really they are a sphere with a deep indentation in the middle that reminds one of a donut that is not quite empty in the middle.

Popular Indian pictographs show May as a singing bird on a handle of a planting stick. May is represented by two moons, Singing Moon and Planting Moon. The Wabanaki Indians subscribed to Song Moon for birdsongs are abundant. Early Victorian times labeled May as a vagabond time when one could lose oneself in romanticism.

Today’s full Moon might be called the Ebullient Moon, for there is exciting, energetic movement on all fronts, birdsongs from morning to night and a happiness that spreads over the land.

As of this year, Ohio has a new slogan, “Find it Here”. So, look for mushrooms, good fishing days and enough light and sun to bring out the best in life.


May is the one month when fishing and gardening get blended together here at the Greengate house. Much like the Native American’s practice of burying a fish in the same hole as corn seed, we use the cleanings from fish brought home to fertilize the garden. It must be buried deep enough to not attract wildlife and the cats that roam over the fields around us.

By the end of the month, cold frames will be empty as sturdy tomato and pepper plants are moved into the garden. We are already enjoying salads and onions. The fisherman is willing to put up with greenery on his plate as long as there is a nice size blue gill, fried crispy brown, vying for space. He’s looking forward to the best predicted fishing days of 26th through 29th when he’ll take off for his favorite lake and some earnest bass fishing. As he helps with garden work, a far off look takes him over and a small sigh signals to his wife that he is already out on that lake. We call it a day.

Outside the Yard

By the end of the month you may want a break from yard and garden. May 26-29 2016, Chillicothe, Ohio will host its 32nd Feast of the Flowering Moon. It is a wonderful festival featuring Native Americans with music, dancing, exhibits, traders, arts/crafts, and a mountain men encampment. All events are free. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to

May begins the ice cream season. No better way to start it off than with an ice cream festival. Held near Utica, Ohio, it takes place on the grounds of Energy Coop and in conjunction with Velvet Ice Cream Co. May 28-30, 2016 will see many events with a parade on Saturday through the village of Utica. The ice cream eating contest is always a big draw as well as over 90 artisans, food, pony rides, entertainment all three days. Admission is $5. Per car. For more information go to or contact Paul Palumbo at 614-209-5247

Word of the Month

Crepuscular rays: Sunbeams at twilight. A twilight ray of sunlight shining through breaks in high clouds and illuminating dust particles in the air. In ancient times, poetic literature held that God’s throne was at the other end of the beams.

Quote of the Month

“Among the changing months, May stands confest The sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed.” Poet James Thomson, 1700-1748.

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