Grit Blogs > Russ-Stick Ramblings

Magical March Full Moon

Tapped Tree

Full moons are pretty magical at Russ-Stick Acres.

They bring wonderful blessings to us.

Such as the September full moon, when we had a very special visitor.

Traveling with his wife, Tonya, to Russ-Stick Acres, Alaskan native Lance Mackey, Iditarod and Quest Champion, watched the same full moon last night from the back of his dog sled, pulled by 16 happy Huskies, somewhere between Rohn and Nikolai checkpoints on the Iditarod trail.

Or perhaps a coyote’s howl, mirrored by our sled dogs.

Or my favorite. Clear, crisp, moonlit snow fields that are so inspiring you find your throat tightening and tears welling up in your eyes from the emotion of the beauty displayed before you.

And this March, even more magic.

Close-up of tapped tree

The maple sap is flowing hard. Trees are tapped. Two dozen or so.

Tapped tree with Zip

And the temporary “Sugar Shack” is getting geared up for processing.

Sap pan, stove, and necessary wood for keeping the fire going.


A new crop of syrup awaits. A Russ-Stick Acres staple.

Slushy Driveway

A sure sign of spring. A rustic moat.

Hard to believe I drove a dog sled through this path on the eve of the March full moon.

Close-up of Slushy Driveway

Foolish move on my part, I have to admit.

But then, I’m not known for following the usual trail.

And announcing, the Grand Finale to the evening…

Russ holding calf

A new little Irish Dexter calf. Born during the March full moon. Pictured here just hours old.

She was jumping about and strong on her legs at daylight.

Rustic Russ had a sixth sense yesterday and separated Mama Dixie from the bull, Dudley.

Dixie and her 15 month-old steer got comfortable in a stall next to Dudley and spent their first night apart.

Who would guess that very night, she would have her 2nd calf born at Russ-Stick Acres.

Dexter’s Dixie Darlin’ Dairy Delight is the proud Mama.

Dexter’s Double Dippin’ Dudley the Studley is the protective Papa.

Close-up of man holding calf

We will name her Luna, which means Moon.

Of course we will have to also give her a proper name too.

To be decided…

Until tomorrow ~ and the next magical full moon ~ God willing,