Today, Sunday, was supposed to be the smallest full moon of the year, but of course, it was another cloudy day, so there was no moon to see. I caught a brief glimpse as it was setting a few days ago, but it was behind my bush.
The full moon will peak at 1:29 p.m. EST on February 5th. The name, Bear Moon is learned from the teachings of the 13 Grandmother Moons and the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition. The naming of the moons also has a cultural teaching which explains the cycle of life and nature within the Indigenous cultures of Turtle Island. February's full moon is also known as the Snow Moon because, well, there's lots of snow around.
This full Bear Moon is certainly something to celebrate because it marks the time of year when bears (black bears specifically) are giving birth to their cubs. In late fall, female black bears look for a spot to hibernate, usually under a tree stump, and make their den cozy by lining it with grass, twigs and leaves. At this time of the year, January to February, the bears give birth to one or two cubs.
Groundhog day came and went, with Wiarton Willie predicting an early spring. What I want to know is, what happened to Wilhemina? Did she let her hair go gray? But then, the new Willy is an albino from the USA! Surely we still have groundhogs in Ontario, although I know coyotes have been feasting a lot.
Unfortunately, there are no births in the news but several famous people's deaths. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to realize that most of these people are my age group because, hearing and seeing them frequently, you don't realize they age at the same rate we do. Well, of course, Hurricane Hazel McCallion beat out everyone being two weeks shy of her 102nd birthday. David Onley overcame a physical disability and went on to greatness as a champion for other disabled people. Another type of champion was Bobby Hull, the great hockey icon. Better on the ice than off, I gather but still a model for young players.
Happy birthday to Dale Ashton, an Uxbridge boy who lives not too far away. Right now, he is enjoying his new Main Coon cat, an especially big breed. Happy birthday also to Jen Edwards, who also loves cats and runs the Edwards Cat Rescue, assisted by her husband, Gary. Happy birthday to Kathy Holdsworth, a busy lady involved with several Uxbridge organizations. Best wishes to all!
Erin Blackstock, a very busy young lady hailing from Zephyr, is even busier, with at least 11 performances in February for her and her band. A momma bear for punishment, but she loves it.
Best wishes to Jim Crossland, who retired from Uxbridge Ford (formerly Brandons) after 46 years as the #1 customer service consultant. Quite a record, I would think. The Crosslands came to Sandford many years ago now and purchased the farm owned by Harvey and Freda Meek, across from the present Community Centre. Enjoy your retirement.
The Yuk Yuk show at the Sandford Hall was a sold-out affair in spite of the terrible weather and cold, and a few people did not show up, but those who did apparently had a great time. That same evening, the Jazz concert at the Leaskdale Heritage Church also had a reasonably good turnout in spite of the inclement elements.
If you missed it or chicken out as I did, there is another on March 3rd.
Keep in mind that the Friday Nights at the Foster are ready to start in May again this year. The May nights are hosted and organized by Brian O'Sullivan, who has performed many times at this venue. We are also looking for people who will volunteer to assist the Friend of the Foster group, which hosts the other evenings. Free concerts, anyone?
There are two men who are celebrating big birthdays shortly. One is Bill Lockie, who celebrated his 90th on February 12th and might appreciate a card. Bill and his wife Jackie farmed in Zephyr for many years and raised their children there. On retirement, Bill moved to Douglas Crossing, where he will be celebrating.
The other gentleman is Ted Croxal, a name to most older folks in the area as he was involved in many activities. He and Corinne farmed in Bethesda for years. Ted was a member of at least two quartettes and some choirs, I think, worked diligently for the Bethesda Church and later Uxbridge Trinity United Church and was involved in the founding of the Food Grains Program in the Epsom area, along with my father and the Evans brothers. There will be a drop-in party for Ted at the Seniors centre this Sunday, February 12th, from 3 to 5 p.m. His many friends are invited to say hello and best wishes only.
At noon this past Sunday, at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Geoff Carpentier, naturalist extraordinary, gave a presentation on his first trip to Antarctica to a good crowd of parishioners and many other interested visitors. Having heard several of his presentations before, I knew what to expect, but many others were quite impressed. Geoff is a member of the North Durham Nature but has also been a tour guide and leader of trips on and off the water for many years. Donations went to the outreach of the church.
Sandford United Church had a good attendance this past Sunday with Carol O'Neil back in the pulpit with a very powerful message, and Ruth Baker on piano. If you are on Facebook, you can read it on my page. Next week the energizer bunny in the form of Rev. Dr. Bill Fritz will be with us. Please join us; there might even be some treats!