Friday, April 27, 2012

The Night of the Pink Moon

According to the 2012 Farmer's Almanac, April is the month for the Pink Moon.
The Full Pink Moon appears on April 6, then wanes through the following weeks until
May's Full Flower Moon appears. It's a charming custom, naming the full moons.
The Farmer's Almanac says the tradition began with the Algonquin Indians,
and was continued by European settlers.

I am always interested in why things are named as they are.
There is actually an obscure branch of linguistics called onomastics
which is devoted to the study of naming.
So the idea of naming the April moon the Pink Moon made me curious.
The Farmer's Almanac says it's named for moss pinks, a wild ground phlox.
I doubt that was the Algonquin's name for it,
but it's an attractive name regardless of who thought of it.
Even so, I considered it a rather unusual choice and a bit far-fetched.

But one day this month, I passed by a house here in the Shire
that set on a large plot of uncultivated land.
The entire field behind the house was a brilliant pink from the wild ground phlox.
And then I understood.
That bright pink field must have been spectacular under a shining full moon.

I don't have a photo of it, but this variety of pinks planted by one of my neighbors
under her roses is the same color:

There will be more about pink in tomorrow's blog.

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