Mohawk Valley Almanac for March 2021
March is the beginning of spring in the Mohawk Valley even though there is frequently still at least some snow on the ground, especially in higher elevations of the southern valleys and the North Country. Despite the sometimes still cold and blustery days, longer daylight hours after the change to Daylight Savings Time seem to brighten most people’s spirits after the short days and cold weather of winter.
For those in the city and lower lying areas, there are often a few days warm enough with the snow gone to get an early start on the garden, especially with radishes, beets, peas, spinach and other greens. Even if it snows again, a few inches of snow in March usually melts in just a few days and cool weather crops get a good start. Crocuses and other small bulb flowers provide early splashes of purple and other colors in the garden.
As the Covid 19 Pandemic is entering its second year, the festivals and other annual events celebrating the seasonal changes remain in limbo at the time of this writing in mid-February. It is likely that many events, including the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Utica will be cancelled. Other events like Maple Weekends usually held the last two weekends of the month will either be canceled or limited in scope.
For the outdoor activities, solo sports such as running, bicycling and hiking are good options. It is still uncertain at this time the amount of interscholastic school sports that might be held this spring. For runners in training, the Boilermaker has already been postponed from July to October due to the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues and vaccines become increasingly available, all would be encouraged to make an appointment and get vaccinated. The sooner a majority of people get vaccinated, the sooner life returns to near “normal.” As the year progresses, things will begin to open up more. However, in the short term over the next few months, it is still important to wear a mask, and continue with social distancing and avoiding unnecessary crowds.
Holidays and Observances in March
March 1 St. David’s Day
March 2 Texas Independence Day
March 2 Town Meeting Day in Vermont (First Tuesday); Mardi Gras; Shrove Tuesday
March 8 International Women’s Day
March 12 Commonwealth Day (Canada)
March 14 Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 A.M.
March 15 Ides of March; Andrew Jackson Day in Tennessee
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day; Evacuation Day (Suffolk County, Massachusetts)
March 19 St. Joseph’s Day
March 20 Vernal Equinox
March 25 Seward’s Day (Alaska)
March 27 Passover begins at sundown
March 28 Palm Sunday
March 31 Cesar Chavez Day
In the Night Skies
An early morning linear conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury occurs in the east on May 1st. On the 5th, Jupiter and Mercury appear to merge into one “star.” These events are just before sunrise, and being very low in the sky, not visible unless one has a very flat eastern horizon. A bit easier to see on the 8th, about 40 minutes before sunrise, the same three planets form a triangular conjunction about 8° high. As the month progresses, Jupiter and Saturn are both clearly visible higher in the eastern pre-dawn sky.
A nearly First Quarter Moon has a conjunction with Mars in the evening of the 19th, just above Aldebaran, an orange star of Taurus. The Full Worm Moon, sometimes called the Full Sap Moon or Full Crust Moon, is at the end of the month on the 28th.
With the change to Daylight Savings Time beginning at 2 A.M. on March 14, sunset is an hour later, and sets after 7 P.M., beginning the season of longer hours of daylight. Spring officially begins on the vernal equinox of March 20.
Rising & Setting Times for Sun, Moon and Visible Planets on Vernal Equinox, March 20, 2021
Sunrise 7:01 A.M. Sunset 7:14 P.M.
Moonrise 10:45 A.M. Northeast Moonset 1:34 A.M., Northwest
Mercury Rises 6:23 A.M., East
Mars Sets 1:18 A.M. Northwest
Jupiter rises Rises 5:37 A.M. East
Saturn Rises Rises 5:08 A.M., East
March Phases of the Moon for March
March 5 Last Quarter Moon
March 13 New Moon
March 14 Shift to Daylight Savings Time at 2:00 A.M. (set clocks ahead on hour)
March 20 Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring)
March 21 First Quarter Moon
March 28 Full Worm Moon