Thursday, April 9, 2009

What do Pink, Fish, Egg and Sprouting Grass have in common?

From the Old Farmer's Almanac for April:

" Pink Moon: this full Moon heralded the appearance of the grass pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon."

This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

As you can see, phlox is not pink, it's purple. At least all the phlox I've seen is purple, but I didn't make up the name. I just know I'm not a pink flower sorta Island Woman.

I'm not sure what old meaning there could be for an egg moon, but maybe when I have the chickens I'll find out. Full Sprouting Grass seems pretty obvious. And then there is phlox. Which is not only one of my favorite plants but really fun to write and say, too. Go on, I know you want to.

A friend of mine had a wonderful home he'd built in North Carolina up in the mountains around Boone. The house was sited on top of a mountain where he'd scraped out a flat area. The hillside was really steep and really naked so I decided it needed some phlox, which was easier imagined than done. I went to the local Loew's and bought 3 sadly neglected phlox plants (hey, they have seasons there and I guess they don't care, when winter is coming, if plants just cack). Holding on to a rock and using one leg to brace myself, I sort of dug out a space underneath my butt and planted blindly, three times. Truthfully I didn't think those plants has a chance.

Back on St. Croix I'd ask on occasion how was the phlox and damned if it wasn't flourishing under much neglect (my friend traveled a lot). He said he'd baptize the plants when he got back to the mountains (not with water), that they were covering the hillside, and he would send photos to prove it. So...if you want a really hardy plant...phlox is your girl.

Point being, my photo from last night was incorrectly labled as the full moon...I was a day early for that and I'm a Jewish day late for wishing Happy Passover...but since that lasts a week, I'll slide it in here like I'm really on time.

Funny how Easter and Passover both have traditional meals that include lamb. According to one site the lamb shank is not to be eaten, it's just there for the symbolism of the Passover Lamb. Well, sheesh!

"The children of Israel were told how to protect themselves from the last plague. Each family was to take a lamb and kill it and drain the blood into a basin; then they were to take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood and strike the upper lintel and two side doorposts of the house where they would be eating the lamb (Ex. 12:21,22). “And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt” (Ex. 12:13)"

Well, THEY got to eat the lamb. Of course they had that other pretty nasty bit going on as well...

And then the Christians have John the Baptist seeing Jesus and saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

So, there's a commonality, oh you of separate faiths. Don't forget it. And don't overcook the lamb either. Or forget the mint jelly.

One of these years I am going to convince Cheli and/or Hector to get some lamb in the markets for Semana Santa. Don't hold your breath though.

In the meantime, I drool over (stolen) photos of roast leg of lamb...and dream a little dream.

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