Monday, May 3, 2010

May: The Discovery Month

The Full Moon last week (April 28) brought a hard frost to the region for a couple nights. One of the names for the April moon is the Full Fish Moon. The next full moon is on May 27. The name had nothing to do with trout season opening; stocking trout is rather new. But see native trout below.
The upcoming May moon is called the Full Flower Moon.
It was called this long before flower shows, seed companies and garden centers. The woodlands are alive right now with dozens of wild flowers. The trout lilies were first, followed by the Mayapples and Jack in the Pulpit plants.
Mayapples are strange, almost tropical looking plants. They are also called Indian apples and the umbrella plant. They do produce a small fruit which looks like a yellow crabapple in late summer. They can be used when fully ripe in jellies, sauces, pies and to make a juice drink. Discover more about this unique plant and how it can be used, here.
Marsh marigolds are also blooming at about the same time as the mayapples. These bog plants last a long time, are hardy and attractive. They make a good choice to plant in wet areas.

Flowers, especially the brilliant annuals can, and perhaps should be, always included in the veggie garden. Annual flowers attract many good insects, some repel harmful insects, while others are good companion plants and help the veggies grow. Annual flowers and herbs are good to have and May is the perfect time to get them in the garden.
May is also a good time to plant and think about fall. A fall vegetable garden can help save money and extend the summer harvest. May is the time to get the soil ready for a late summer planting. Many cover crops can be planted now which help to enrich the soil. For more information on getting ready for a fall vegetable, see this article.
Sure warm weather is here or at least at the front door, thankfully, and so are some pesky insects, like mosquito which can be dangerous because of the diseases they can transmit. There are some effective natural controls and plants that can be used to thwart the insect. For more information on some good plants for mosquito, click on this article.

Native Trout

Trout season opened in many states over the last several weeks. In Pennsylvania, the opening day in the western parts of the state opened on April 17. Trout fishing is immensely popular in Pennsylvania and estimates indicate that about a million anglers went to streams and creeks.
Most went after stocked trout which are bred and raised in Pennsylvania fish hatcheries. However, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is beginning to promote more of the native trout. The agency is seeking to identify creeks and streams which have naturally reproducing trout.
Once a stream is designated as a wild trout stream, it can be fully protected under existing laws governing pollution and water inflows. The new attention to native, wild populations is partially linked to gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale beds.
The drilling has been blamed on several degraded streams and rivers in the state since discharged water, used in the drilling process has been dumped back on the ground surface. Millions of gallons of water are used in the drilling process to get the gas out of the ground. The new technologies used by the drilling operators promises to be a significant economic boom for many rural regions and have set up something of a conflict between the industry, anglers and environmentalists. It is a good issue to follow.
No one is claiming a Gulf of Mexico scenario but the potential for an environmental disaster remains high and the problem needs to be reasonably addressed. Here is a great link to further understand the current situation.


About the same times as the mayapples emerge, the trilliums begin to bloom. May has the best flower show around in woodland areas. The leeks are also in their prime.

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