On January 30, just a few days away, the Tufted Titmouse Moon, the first complete moon of 2014, will become the new Snowdrop Moon, continuing a lunar trajectory that travels inexorably across the span of the year.
With February’s Snowdrop Moon, the time of blooming plants gets underway. When white snowdrops and yellow aconites come into flower, they tell the maple sap to run, and they push back late winter to leave room for early spring.
Some environmental groups and eastern Ohio residents say the state is hurrying permits for gas processing plants amid the shale drilling boom.
They say fast-tracking some permit requests prevents examination of local concerns about air and water pollution from refineries and the fracking process that frees the gas. Ohio Environmental Council lobbyist Jack Shaner says the state is bending over backward to accommodate the industry.
By the end of January, deep winter moves to its close, and late winter is carried into the nation by the lengthening days and the relentless south winds that always follow each cold spell. By the end of the month, normal averages break their stagnation, edging up a full degree almost everywhere above the Tropic of Cancer. Local thermometers not only see the progress within their own microclimate, but across the entire continent.
The recent storm got me thinking about a fierce Christmas rain and wind storm just a few years ago. After the turbulence passed, I went outside on the back porch and hen I noticed a butterfly, a polygonia comma, perched on the head of the small stone crucifix one of my sisters had given the family some years ago.
Now I am a wavering and superstitious Christian, easily swayed by signs and sacraments, and so the appearance of the polygonia on a crucifix in the wake of a freak rainstorm on Christmas morning was bound to trigger some uneasiness of spirit.
Nearly 40,000 Ohio residents have successfully picked health insurance plans through the new online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's law.
A report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services details enrollment numbers from Oct. 1 through Dec. 28.
Ohio is among the 36 states relying on the federal website, HealthCare.gov. Monday's figures show a significant spike in sign-ups compared with October, when the troubled website wasn't working properly. Just 1,150 Ohioans had managed to select a plan then, compared with 34,283 last month.