Of all Februarys to be a leap year it had to be this one, did it not? It just refused to go quickly, or quietly. March can surely be as cold and snowy, but with daylight savings time coming up next Sunday and calendar spring just three weeks away winter cannot hold on for much longer. I have a window sill filled with fragrant paperwhites blooming in the kitchen and am dreaming of the day when the first snowdrops and crocuses emerge. A few brave ladybugs have peeked out from wherever they had been hiding in my sunroom, and I honestly think I heard a mosquito buzzing around me yesterday. It was probably part of the advance team checking out their future feeding options. I fear this year will be a battle we will not win against them.
Full moon fever
February’s spectacular full moon eclipse last week was a highlight, and we are fortunate to enjoy clear, starry skies for it. This celestial show was free to all, and a humbling reminder of how small we are in the context of the Universe. Stargazing has been practiced since the earliest civilizations, and I love thinking that the gorgeous full moon was being watched by people all over the world.
A quick look at the American Indian names for winter moons shows us that they too felt the quickening of spring in March. The deep, heavy snows of February, and the harsh hunting conditions they imposed, earned the names Full Snow Moon and Hunger Moon. As the snows melted, the soil softened and the robins returned, the March moon was called the Full Worm Moon. The far northern tribes called March’s full moon the Crow Moon, believing the caws of the bird heralded winter’s end. They also christened it the Full Sap Moon, and began tapping maple trees for the sustaining sugars in the syrup they made.
The American Indians revered the seasonal cycles, and these ancient named moons give us further proof that spring will be here soon. So does the sign at the new Paris Farmer’s Union, which this week started advertising for chick orders and syruping supplies.
The staff at the Bridgton Public Library has put together some great kid-friendly activities this week. Bring your babies and toddlers for the Mother Goose story time Friday, Feb. 29 at 10:30, and stay for a special book reading by Carol Honaberger.
Hornabarger is bringing her golden retriever reading therapy dog Brooke, who is trained to help grieving and challenged children embrace reading and learning. This is a wonderful opportunity for your children to meet a gentle, intelligent service animal and learn the wonders of reading. All ages are welcome, and later that afternoon there will be a craft class for fourth through sixth graders at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 647-2472.
Yoga and pregnancy have more in common than you might think. Both cause you to slow down, use more deliberate motions, and focus on your breathing. Women who are more physically fit, and who pay close attention to their prenatal health, often have an easier pregnancy and birthing experience.
The Birth House at Birthwise is offering a new yoga program for expectant mothers beginning this Monday, March 3 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. All women at any stage of pregnancy are welcome. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and bring a mat if you have one.
To register for the 8-week series, contact The Birth House at 647-5919. The session offers 8 weeks of yoga for $75 or $10 per session for walk-ins.
Rotary International is celebrating its 103rd year of service work, and several local Rotarians were recently honored in a special ceremony here.
Lakes Region Rotary members Katherine Rauf and Ingrid Von Kennewurff were praised by Rotary president Wilf Wilkinson for their outstanding efforts. Rauf recently returned from an orphanage in Poland where she donated much-needed items for the children there. Von Kennewurff prepared a Powerpoint presentation detailing the efforts of the Lakes Region Rotary’s community service projects throughout the past year.
Local Rotary president Mike Daley said both women represent the ideals of the service organization, by being community volunteers and leaders and exemplifying the Rotary motto of “Service above self.” Congratulations to both women, and thanks to all our local Rotarians who have given thousands of dollars to local service projects and countless volunteer hours in Bridgton.