Sunday, March 10, 2013

March's many moons

photo of ghost doe
© harrington
Welcome. Thanks for dropping in. Have you reset your clocks yet? What about the one in your car? It's that time of year. The doe pictured above has her biological clock set. It doesn't need adjustment. She wasn't fifteen feet from the north side of the house when I took this. (It would have come out better if I had turned off the flash and used manual focus. Live and learn.) This end of Winter/beginning of Spring is a tough time of year for our native wildlife. New growth hasn't started. Fresh snow and melting ice cover the ground. The Anishnaabe call March's full moon (the 27th) the "snow crust moon." Dakota/Lakota refer to it as the "moon of the sore eyes". It will be the first full moon of both astronomical and meteorological Spring. The Algonquin referred to it as full worm moon, welcoming back the robins. New life in wombs started during last Autumn's mating season demands scarce nutrition for growth. In our well-fed house, we've started the annual Spring debate about when to bring in the bird feeders to keep the bears from snacking on them. Sometime in the next few weeks, hibernation should end. Between then and about the end of May, bird feeders and trash cans are particularly vulnerable around here. Maybe this is the year I'll actually suspend a feeder or two on a clothes line running from the deck to a nearby oak tree. Have you seen clothes drying on lines between pulleys? I assume the advice about hanging your food high in bear country could also work for bird feeders. Bears and deer and birds aren't the only creatures hungry these days. Many Americans, U.S. citizens living right here, go to bed hungry each night while we waste 40% of our food. That strongly suggests to me that we don't have a production problem. We don't have a shortage of farmland. We don't have to convert the little remaining prairie to cropland. We have a management and market problem. Here in My Minnesota, as in the rest of the country, it seems to me that our distorted politics have created even more distorted markets. Or, maybe it's the other way around. In any case, it's not working and we can fix it, if we try to agree on a better way. What do you think a better way might be to preserve, conserve and better serve our Minnesota? Stop by again tomorrow. Rants and raves served daily.