Creatures of the Snow Moon
As a Houston native, I find snowy weather a rare and unusual event. There are many good reasons why our entire region comes to a standstill when anything approaching actual winter moves through.
Because of this, simply recognizing this week’s full moon by name seems somewhat out of reach. It’s traditionally called the Snowy Moon…because it’s the time of year in much of the U.S. when we’re most likely to see snow. Not so in Houston, where we’re frequently known to experience all four seasons in a week, if not a day.
Fortunately, there’s a little something to redeem us, because who doesn’t love cute animals? We’d normally think of polar bears and penguins, but here’s a sampling of unique wildlife perfectly suited to wintery climates.
These stunning creatures, distantly related to wolves and dogs, live high in the Arctic region that extends from the North Pole. Best suited to tundra and mountains, they are predators of smaller mammals like lemmings, but are also known to eat berries and seaweed.
While in the past there were threats due to fur trapping (owing to their thick, fluffy coats), today the Arctic fox has a Least Concern conservation status, as they reproduce rapidly. This enables their numbers to recover following years of higher predator numbers (particularly red foxes).
This larger relative of domestic rabbits is found in North America, mostly in mountainous areas with coniferous forests. They get their common name from their back feet, which are slightly larger than the front, reminiscent of a person wearing snowshoes.
Snowshoe hares have uniquely adapted to hide from predators across seasons; in winter, their fur is mostly white to blend with snow, while in summer, the fur is a soft reddish-brown to blend with dirt and rocks. They are herbivores, eating mostly grasses and flowers.
Also known as the snow monkey, the Japanese macacque lives further north, and in colder climates, than any other primate except humans. Most are less than two feet tall, with brownish-gray fur and short tails. They present a complex social hierarchy, traced through the females and reinforced by social grooming.
Known as a highly intelligent species, snow monkeys are strong swimmers, frequently seen bathing together in natural hot springs; they are playful, and have been seen rolling snowballs for fun. They use vocalizations, visual signals, physical contact, and body language to communicate.
Susan (aka the Dragonfly Charmer) is an Indigo Moons staff member and an intuitive reader with over 25 years of experience. She also teaches Tarot classes at the shop. Susan is proud to announce the launch of her Patreon, Dragonfly Academy, as of February 1. Visit her Linktree for all the other places you can find her.
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