Moon of the Pink

Moon of the Pink

By Regina Ochoa

We are in a three-night celestial viewing of the Moon of the Pinks, or Pink Moon. The full moon of late April has been celebrated since ancient times. I first heard of it more than 30 years ago when visiting my parent’s home in Western Nebraska.

The night sky was clear of clouds, swept away from the daytime’s high winds, and settled down to a light breeze. The air was unusually warm for April. I stepped outside, awestruck by the moon’s light cresting the eastern horizon. Within moments, then minutes later, a full moon lit the night. Long shadows suddenly appeared across the landscape—yucca spikes backlit against the past winter’s grass.

I had spent the day bundled up, with my jacket zipped over a down vest and a cashmere scarf knotted close to my neck. Our winds grip at any piece of unsecured clothing, tearing it and carrying it away faster than I can run. Retrieving becomes an exercise of futility; the barbed wire or tumbleweed catches scarves, papers, plastic buckets, and even large feed pails sailing across the swept land.

Even with the wind, the early blooms beckoned me out to bring their beauty into focus under my lens. I grabbed my camera and headed across the hills to climb the nearby butte to see what bloomed this April.

As I trekked along the game trails, I noticed the short phlox opening their eyes. The tiny buds were pink along the edges and lavender-white when their petals stretched out. The wind didn’t bother these prairie gems. Most, not more than an inch or two tall, greeted the sunshine as patches of pink and white—minuscule yellow stamens in a red center of each bloom. I needn’t hike to the top of the butte, nor chance being blown off the 200-foot high sandstone cliff when the April blooms that called me out were at my feet.

wild prairie Phlox in full bloom
wild prairie phlox in full bloom

Tonight, we have a Pink Moon. Its name is not in color, but in the flora it represents.

The full moon of late April coincides with the bloom. The prairie’s pink phlox is one of our ancient signs of spring. Though many other wildflowers begin at this time, the carpeting of the phlox and other pink flowers in our Western Nebraska brings significance to this night’s full moon.

Thirty years have passed since my first full Moon of the Pinks and my first encounter with the prairie phlox. Tonight, as I have done nearly every year since I have witnessed this engagement of our cosmos with our land.

The thrill of this full moon and its meaning remain as strong as the first time the moon, and I met that evening on the deck so long ago.

You may also like…

Ash Creek Ranch

Ash Creek Ranch

Sandhill Cranes have taken to the air, heading north, on the great migration to Canada.

Heritage Guest Ranch

Heritage Guest Ranch

Change is inevitable.
The older I get, the more I am reminded of this truth and the more practice I get for learning about letting go


Submit a Comment

Verified by MonsterInsights