Friday

June's full "Strawberry Moon" rises one day after the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. This will be the lowest full moon of the year.

The full moon's closeness to the date of the solstice, or the start of the astronomical summer, has a noticeable visual effect. Since a full moon sits opposite the sun relative to Earth, it mirrors the sun's position in the sky. In June — and particularly close to the solstice — the sun is at its highest of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Its position at midday on the solstice, on June 20 this year, is the highest it ever gets. That makes the full moon the following day the lowest of the year.

It's also the farthest full moon from the sun of the year. That's because the Earth's slightly elliptical orbit of the sun takes it farthest away on July 5. That point is Earth's annual aphelion. Therefore, the closest full moon to that date must be the moon's annual aphelion.

June's full moon is often referred to as the Strawberry Moon because it falls during the strawberry harvesting season in the northeastern U.S. Similarly, June's full moon has also been called the Rose Moon because it occurs around the time roses bloom.

However, this month's full moon has also gone by several other names, including Mead Moon, Honey Moon, Flower Moon, Hot Moon, Hoe Moon, and the Planting Moon, all of which stem from European or Native American origin and represent various milestones of the summer season, according to NASA.

The nicknames Mead Moon or Honey Moon represent the time in June when honey is ready for harvesting. Mead, or honey wine, is a drink created by fermenting honey mixed with water and sometimes with fruits, spices, grains or hops. Rising around the time honey is harvested, the June full moon is often considered the "sweetest" moon of the year. Subsequently, the term "honeymoon" can be traced back to the tradition of marrying in June and the joyfulness of the first month of marriage.

Native American Names for June Moon Leaves Moon (Cree). Ripe Berries (Dakota). Hoer moon (Abernaki). Windy Moon (Choctaw). Summer moon (Kiowa). Buffalo Moon (Omaha). Leaf Moon (Assiniboine). Corn Tassel Moon(Taos). Green grass Moon(Sioux). Ripening Moon (Mohawk). Turtle Moon (Potawatomi). Making fat Moon (Lakota).Leaf Dark Moon (San Juan). Major Planting Moon (Hopi). Planting Moon (Neo Pagan). Fish Spoils Moon (Wishram). Water melon Moon (Natchez). Hot Weather moon (Arapaho). Dyad Moon (Medieval English). Strawberry Moon (Anishnaabe). Dark green leaves Moon (Pueblo). Summer Moon (Passamaquoddy). Green Corn Moon, Flower Moon (Cherokee). Mead Moon (Full Janic), Strawberry moon (Dark Janic). Honey Moon, Hot Moon, Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon (Algonquin).

Other Moon names : Hay Moon, Aerra Litha Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Lovers Moon Hot weather moon (Ponca).

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The U.S. House passed a bill to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf. Precedent tells us that if this becomes law, it could prove fatal for wolf recovery efforts.

Long, long ago, gray wolves roamed and howled in every state in the Lower 48 (before states were states). The wolf howled in Alaska, too, and the animal’s population there remains healthy.

Sixty years ago, the wolf was intentionally exterminated from the continental U.S., except for small packs that managed to hang on in the northern parts of Minnesota and Michigan.

Today, wolves are in 13 states – California is the latest state that’s been reclaimed by wolves. They have slowly regained turf and in doing so have rewilded habitats. This recovery is in part augmented by an evolving appreciation and understanding of wolves and their importance in the natural world.

The recovery of wolves was also assisted by the Endangered Species Act, which protected gray wolves in 1974.

The big bad bill to re-eradicate wolves



But now a U.S. House bill essentially says ‘enough is enough’ and seeks to halt efforts to recover this wild animal. Introduced by Rep. Boebert (Colo.), the bill also tells us, or so it seems, that our evolving understanding of wolves remains a work in process.

On the last day of April, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Boebert bill, voting to strip away Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves – no matter what the science says, no matter what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines, no matter what’s happening with wolf populations. It passed in the House by the hair of the little pig’s chinny chin chin, 209-205, and now is in the Senate.

What will happen if the bill becomes law?

Recent precedent suggests it won’t be pretty if protections are stripped. Look no further than the states where wolves were delisted in the past. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Wisconsin all unleashed devastating wolf eradication policies. When wolves temporarily lost their protections in Wisconsin, 216 were killed in less than 60 hours.

The Northern Rockies states are the one place where wolves aren’t on the endangered species list. The region has witnessed wolf kills not seen in a century. Bait, neck snares, helicopters and night hunting with spotlights have all been used to diminish wolf populations. Idaho’s law allows up to 90% of the state’s wolves to be killed.



Which states have wolves, and what’s needed to help the animal recover?

Here are the states with established or semi-established gray wolf populations: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Plus, there are Mexican gray wolves, a sub-population of the gray wolf, in Arizona and New Mexico.

Additionally, Colorado voters chose to reintroduce wolves, and some have now been released. Time will tell if they create an established pack, but the state certainly has the habitat and the backing of voters to make it happen. Finally, there’s chatter about whether Maine has wolves. Certainly it and other states have been blessed on occasion with a wandering wolf or two, visiting from somewhere else.

Animosity toward wolves is understandable. Think Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs and more. Wolves are predators.

But here’s the counter vision. Our lives are better in a world filled with beauty and nature. Howling wolves are a rich, important part of this vision. So let’s help the species continue to recover and rewild our planet.

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Thursday

Stargazers are in for a treat this week: The full moon returns for its May engagement, peaking on Thursday morning.

May’s full moon is known as the flower moon, a reference to its appearance in late spring, when many flowering plants begin to bloom again after their winter slumber. The glowing orb will reach maximum illumination on Thursday at 9:53 a.m. ET, according to NASA.

The best time to view the moon, though, is at night on Wednesday and Thursday, since it will be below the horizon during its peak in some regions, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The flower moon will begin to rise after sunset on Wednesday, reaching its highest point after midnight, per EarthSky.

In some parts of the world, including the Washington, DC area, the full moon will come so close to the bright star Antares on Thursday night that the star will appear to vanish behind the moon, according to NASA.

The flower moon name is thought to have originated among the Algonquin people who live in Canada and parts of the northeastern United States, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. But ancient groups coined several creative names for May’s full moon that mark the arrival of warmer weather and the new life that grows during the spring.

Its old English name is “milk moon,” according to NASA, a reference to the archaic English word for the month we now call May. The eighth-century monk St. Bede the Venerable referred to May as the month of three milkings –– in the medieval era, people believed that cows could be milked at least three times daily in late spring.

Other names for May’s full moon include “frog moon,” from the Cree people of Canada’s North Plains — likely a nod to the spring peeper frog and its birdlike chirp, which is a harbinger of warm weather. The Dakota and Lakota people of the US Great Plains also called the celestial spectacle the “planting moon” to mark the agricultural practice of planting in the spring for a healthy harvest.

May Moon Names

Frog Moon (Cree). Ponies shed (Sioux). Bright moon (Celtic). Waiting Moon (Hopi). Mulberry Moon (Greek). Ninth Moon (Wishram). Idle Moon (Assiniboine). Big Leaf Moon (Mohawk). Panther Moon (Choctaw). Grass Moon (Neo-Pagan). Planting Moon (Cherokee). Corn Planting Moon (Taos). Little Corn Moon (Natchez). Green Leaf Moon (Apache). Corn Weed Moon(Agonquin). Field Maker Moon (Abernaki). Blossom Moon (Anishnaabe). Shaggy Hair Moon (Arapaho). Green Leaves Moon (Dakota). Fat Horses Moon (Cheyenne).

Leaf Tender Moon (San Juan). Hare Moon (Medieval English). Milk Moon (Colonial American). Strawberry Moon (Potawatomi). Hoeing Corn Moon (Winnebago). Alewive Moon (Passamaquoddy). Ninth Moon (Dark Janic), Mothers Moon (Full Janic). Flower Moon, Corn Plant Moon, Milk Moon (Algonquin).

Other Moon names : Frogs Return Moon, Sproutkale Moon, Dyad Moon, Merry Moon, Joy Moon

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Sunday

Jane Goodall and Leonardo DiCaprio are set to produce Howl – a live-action film about an abandoned family dog and a young wolf, told from the two animals’ point of view.

The highly esteemed environmentalist and the award-winning actor are friends and have collaborated previously on fundraising and conservation efforts via their respective nonprofits – the Jane Goodall Institute and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Howl is the first from Promethean Pictures, a label founded by Argo Films’ Richard Johns, and will be directed by E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire), written by Christopher Monger (Temple Grandin), and filmed by Doug Allan (Frozen Planet).

The film follows a former family dog as he meets and eventually bonds with a wild wolf, with human characters present but mostly in the background. Howl is not explicitly an environmental film, but the filmmakers aim to provide a transformative view of the natural world through the animal-led story, as reported by Deadline.

“Howl will not only be an enjoyable and entertaining experience but will also help change perceptions of the ‘big bad wolf,’ which has been hunted to extinction in many areas of the world and is threatened and endangered in many others,” Goodall told Deadline.

“I hope we can make people understand their need to live alongside us and show these sacred creatures for what they are,” she added.

Wolf populations have always been a source of friction between those who hope to rewild and protect the predatory species and those who seek to limit, cull, or eradicate them. In the US, their protection status varies wildly from location to location and state to state.

In recent years, the relaxing of restrictions around the killing of wolves has resulted in hundreds of deaths. From 2022 to 2023 in Idaho alone, hunters killed more than 560 wolves, prompting conservation groups such as the Humane Society to launch legal action.

In Europe, wolves have already been successfully reintroduced, while environmentalist groups in the UK argue that they should be brought back to Britain, too. Rewilding Europe highlights the need for people to re-learn how to live alongside apex predators like wolves with a healthy respect and the admiration that keystone species, in particular, deserve.

It sounds like Howl could touch on this theme of coexistence with wolves, and Executive Producer Jennifer Davisson said, “We hope this film encourages people to understand and appreciate the inextricable relationship between us humans and the natural wildlife that surrounds us.”

Howl is currently in production and is expected sometime in 2026.

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Tuesday

The pink moon will be visible to everyone across the world, since Earth’s natural satellite will appear to be full for a couple of days.

Despite its name, this full moon will look like any other, said Paul Hayne, a planetary scientist with the University of Colorado Boulder. Any full moon may occasionally take on a reddish hue when near the horizon, due to light passing through Earth’s atmosphere.

The pink moon actually got its moniker due to its annual appearance not long after the start of spring, much like its namesake, a hot pink wildflower called Phlox subulata that blooms in early springtime, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

It’s best to view the full moon with binoculars, or even just the naked eye, as it might be too bright to view through a telescope, Hayne said.

“Our closest celestial neighbor has played a starring role in both human mythologies and the evolution of life on Earth. It’s also one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky that is visible without a telescope,” Hayne said in an email. “Looking up at a full moon is a great opportunity to be reminded of the vastness of space and our connection to the cosmos.”

The Dakota tribe dubbed it the "moon when the streams are again navigable," while the Tlingit tribe called it "budding moon of plants and shrubs," in reference to the end of winter and the resurgence of plant growth.

Concerning Easter, this moon is called the Paschal Moon and its full moon appearance is the date upon which the Christian ecclesiastical calendar is based, NASA says. Note, however, that there's a difference in Easter celebration dates depending on which tradition you follow. Western Christianity celebrates on Sunday (April 17), while Eastern Christianity will have their Eastern Orthodox Easter on April 24.

Hindus will commemorate the birth of Lord Hanuman with this full moon, which corresponds with Hanuman Jayanti while Buddhists (especially those in Sri Lanka) will honor Bak Poya, the event during which Buddha visited Sri Lanka to settle a dispute. Your own culture or tradition may have other associations with the April full moon.

While these are the popularized names associated with the monthly full moons, the significance of each one may vary across Native American tribes.

April Full Moon names from different cultures: April Moon Names Leaf Moon (Kiowa). Yellow Moon (Pima). Flowers Moon (Pomo). Growing Moon (Celtic). Flower, Egg (Cherokee). Frog Moon (Assiniboine). (Full Janic), (Dark Janic). Big Spring Moon (Creek). Wildcat Moon (Choctaw). Budding Moon (Mohawk). Wind Breaks Moon (Hopi). Leaf Split Moon (San Juan). Big Leaves Moon (Apache). Strawberry Moon (Natchez). Ice Breaking Moon (Arapaho). Geese Return Moon (Dakota). Indian Corn Moon (Algonquin). Green Grass moon (Sioux). Geese Egg Moon (Cheyenne). Sugar Maker Moon (Abernaki). Awakening Moon (Neo Pagan). Seed Moon (Medieval English). Spring Moon (Passamaquoddy). Corn Planting Moon (Winnebago). Planter√Ęs Moon (Colonial American). Ashes Moon (Taos Native American). Broken Snow Shoe Moon (Anishnaabe). Big Spring Moon, Gray Goose Moon (Cree).

Other Names : Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Planter√Ęs Moon, Pink Moon, Fish Moon.

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