Full Moon When Leaves Are Green

This month’s Full Moon arrives today, May 29. The Dakotah Sioux called this the Moon When Leaves Are Green because it was the first Full Moon of the year when the trees and plants were truly full with leaves.

Many of the names for the may Full Moon are connected to plants. It has been called Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, and Planting Moon. Even a name like Milk Moon is related to the abundance of new growth for the cows to feed on that also gave us the name Grass Moon.

The Medieval name, Hare Moon, marks the appearance of the hare out feeding on all that new growth. And the Moon When Frogs Return is a Native American name taking note of the return of one hibernating species.

The leaves of most plants are green. These leaves are full of chemicals that are green, and the most important one is chlorophyll. It is the chemical that allows plants to make food so they can grow using water, air and light from the sun.

I’m sure you were taught in school about photosynthesis. This process occurs throughout the plant and all leaves contain chlorophyll, but not all of the leaf has chlorophyll. Some leaves have green and white or green and yellow stripes or spots, so only the green bits have chlorophyll and can make food by photosynthesis.

Yes, you will find plants and trees with red or purple leaves all year round. They still are full of chlorophyll, but so much of other chemicals that are red or purple that the green is masked.

This is the time of year that I am outside planting and admiring the greening and flower-coloring of the season. The last frost is past and it’s safe in my area to put out the more tender flowers and vegetables.

The health benefits of eating foods with chlorophyll are amazingly numerous. It seems to have positive impacts on almost everything in our body. All hail chlorophyll in our bodies and in nature!

Green Creativity


Stuck in a creative rut? The best way out of it might be to get unplugged and out in the green of nature.

A study in the journal PLOS One  seems to indicate that spending four nature-filled days, away from electronic devices, is linked with 50 percent higher scores on a test for creativity.

Research seems to show a connection between green and psychological functioning, particularly in the area of creativity. In experiments, a brief glimpse of green prior to a creativity task enhanced creative performance. This “green effect” was observed with subjects that did not know the purpose of the experiment. Half  the group was shown a white rectangle instead of the green one and  those who saw green before the test came up with the more interesting, imaginative answers.

What causes the green effect, and why green?  The German researchers believe it may be that green is a signal of growth (both physical and psychological and that it might serve as a cue that evokes the creativity.

Other studies show that taking a hike in nature that was electronics-free and lasted from four to six days also scored higher on a creativity test.

Was it because they were in nature or because we were unplugged from the electronic devices?  Maybe both, but green seems to be the common connection.

I can’t vouch for the research, but I am very willing to give it my own experimentation. The green similar to a pine tree is the shade that was used in the experiment.  Science that tells me to interact with the natural world and get away from this computer screen is good science.