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The Flower Killing Moon

When you see that beautiful full moon in May – know that it is a Flower Moon. It occurs at the time in spring when flowers pop up everywhere.

photo Johnny Jump Ups Flower Moon

Pretty little Johnny-Jump-Ups

David Grann writes on page one in his book Killers of the Flower Moon, “In April, millions of tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and vast prairies in the Osage Territory of Oklahoma. There are Johnny-jump-ups and spring beauties and little bluets… In May, when coyotes howl beneath an unnervingly large moon, taller plants such as spiderworts and black-eyed Susans, begin to creep over the tinier blooms, stealing their light and water. The necks of the smaller flowers break and their petals flutter away, and before long they are buried underground. This is why the Osage Indians refer to May as the time of the flower-killing moon.”

flower moon in NC photo

The Flower Moon through the pine trees in eastern NC.   Photo by Robert Lethco

My Beautiful Spiderwort

I did not know that my beautiful spiderwort flowers were killers. Just as these flowers of the spiderwort plant are beautiful, they are killers.  And my black-eyed Susans and spiderworts are thriving; alas, my Johnny-jump-ups are gone – smothered of light by these killers of the flower moon.

The full moon of May 2019 was different. It was called a Blue Flower Moon. To the Algonquins, the full moon of May was when the flowers bloomed and were abundant. A blue moon usually means that two full moons occurred in one month – well, not this time. This blue moon is the third full moon in a season, the season was spring.

Algonquian native Americans and the early English settlers often gave different moons and phases of the moon certain names. They called the full moon that occurs in May the Flower Moon; the Old Farmer’s Almanac calls it the Full Flower Moon. Many of our moon phase names are from the Algonquian tradition, June’s full moon is the Strawberry Moon.

Black Eyed Susan photo Killer of the Flower Moon

My beautiful Black-eyed-Susans come back every year

I have a greater appreciation for all the special flowers that grow here on the farm at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast. There is a time to thrive and a season to die. I will save the seeds and wait for the next season. And, did you know – my spiderwort is edible…and so are my Johnny-Jump-Ups.

Photo of Chloe's signature

Big Mill Bed & Breakfast, Williamston, NC 252-792-8787

Chloe Tuttle
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