Editor’s Note—Poor Will’s sheep! Almanack for March & April 2014 was faulty due to a technical error. The moon’s phases were not the current moon cycles, but last year’s. Here are corrections:
Early & Mid-Spring Moons
As most late-winter lambing (yeaning) in feral sheep draws to a close, the Hungry Moon moves over flocks and fields. Sheep may become thinner beneath that moon, eating the greening-but-still-early pasture. In April, outdoor-kept sheep are sheared by the “shepster,” an ancient word for sheep shearer, under the Shepster Moon. At the end of April, mid-spring’s flush of grass growth begins through most of North America, but at that time it’s low in magnesium, especially on heavily fertilized ground, risking the deadly grass tetany. The name Staggers Moon comes from the malady’s rapid onset of its first symptom—a stiff and stilted gait, the sheep urinating frequently and obviously ill at ease.
- March 1: The old Yeaning Moon gives way to the new Hungry Moon at 3 a.m.
- March 8: The Hungry Moon’s second quarter starts at 8:27 a.m.
- March 16: Hungry Moon full at 12:08 p.m.
- March 23: The last quarter of the Hungry Moon begins at 8:46 p.m.
- March 30: The new Shepster Moon begins at 12:45 p.m.
- April 7: Shepster Moon second quarter begins at 3:31 a.m.
- April 15: Shepster Moon full at 2:42 a.m.
- April 15: Shepster moon full eclipse, beginning at 2:06 through 3:24 a.m., throughout U.S. from Washington, D.C. to well past Skagway, Alaska and easternmost points of Hawaii, plus Canada west of Lake Ontario (nearly fully eclipsed everywhere else in the U.S. and Canada).
- April 22: Shepster Moon last quarter begins at 2:52 a.m.
- April 29: Staggers Moon—new at 1:14 a.m.
(Hours and minutes are given in Eastern Standard Time—not Daylight Savings.)