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Worm Moon: March

(for these sweet Worm Moon cards, in Spanish and English, click here)

“Worm, worm, slippery slide. I hear a bird, I better hide.” - Unknown

The Worm Moon is the last Full Moon before the equinox and signals the beginnings of Spring as earthworms wiggle to and fro.

Throughout the world there are over 6,000 species of earthworms, yet only 180 species of in the US and Canada, 60 of which originated in Europe. During the Ice Age the glaciers in North America terminated most of the earthworms, as such, some of the ecosystems which developed after did so without any.

Contrary to popular belief not all worms help create healthier soil environments. Some of our native plants suffer from earthworms as they munch away at the duff. The duff is a deep layer of decomposing leaves and organic matter blanketing the soil which protect young trees. As settlers moved in, bringing livestock, grains, and plants, they also brought with them invasive earthworms.

March’s moon is also known as the Sap Moon, or Sugar Moon due to the tree sap flowing as the temperature rise. Although Maple trees produce the most common sap many other trees go through the exact same process, releasing sweet stickiness, some of which are edible. The Butternut tree and the English walnut tree produce a sap similar to sugar maples and can be tapped around the same time. The Black birch tree’s sap is traditionally used for making birch beer. Although the Sycamore tree’s sap has less sugar content than the above trees, it’s sap has been used as an extract and is supposed to taste like butterscotch.

Activity Connection: March’s Full Moon is also known as Crust Moon, for the layer of crust which occurs when the snow melts during the day’s warmer temperatures then freezes again at night. You can look for snow crust as you hike with your family, or try an experiment creating your own. With a gardening spray bottle filled simply with water acting as the melted snow, you can spray the soft snowy ground before you go to bed. Overnight as the temperature cools the layer of water will form a crust. Do you think it will be easier or harder to walk on crusted snow? Why do you think that? What did you find out?

Here is a free link to an excellent resource with loads of Wiggly Worm discoveries for ages 3-7:

Picture Book Companions Crow Moon, Worm Moon by James Skofield An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman Wiggly Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer Yucky Worms by Vivian French Garden Wigglers by Nancy Loewen Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

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