Archive for the ‘Full Moon’ Category
Tonight’s the night, the August Blue Moon. Blue moons are properly said to occur when there are 4 full moons in a season. However, it has become commonplace to call the second moon in a calendar month a blue moon. The first full moon in August occurred on the 2nd, making tonight’s full moon of August 31st the second of the month.
There’s an August Moon in the garden as well, this brilliant classic hosta. A medium to large hosta, it’s one of my favorites. The big, heart-shaped leaves are bright gold to chartreuse depending on the amount of sun they receive, with more sun intensifying the gold.
The leaves are corrugated and of good substance, making them relatively slug-resistant, a problem with many hostas. Although it was first introduced in 1969 (though not registered by the American Hosta Society until 1996), August Moon has remained very popular with gardeners. It’s easy to see why.
August Moon is an excellent choice for brightening a shady corner. A touch of sun will bring out its full beauty.
Now, back to the blue moon…
For the sake of completeness, I have to backtrack today and cover the January full moon, which occurred on January 30th. I have been recording the full moon every month since February, 2009, so the January 2010 moon completes the annual cycle. As it happened, I wasn’t at Willow House, but out in the Toronto area, so left the moon post until a convenient moment when I was back at my computer.
Watching the full moon rise isn’t as easy in town. You have to wait until it clears all the building roofs around you, unless you seek out a park or other clear area with a better view. Still, I did get quite a nice shot of the moon, taken from an apartment balcony.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Native Americans tracked the seasons by giving distinctive names to each of the full moons. There was some variation in the names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. The January full moon is traditionally the Wolf Moon, when wolf packs howl hungrily outside native villages. I listened, but didn’t hear a single wolf. In fact, even back at Willow House I wouldn’t have heard wolves, although their relatives, the coy-wolves, are quite vocal some nights. It’s a very spooky sound, eerie and strangely threatening. It’s easy to imagine how legends of wolf-men cropped up.
So that completes a year of full moons, with the exception of October, when overcast skies prevented even a glimpse of the full moon, and I posted about the Three Sisters instead. Below is a view of the January full moon with the surrounding vista.
This is the second full moon to shine down on us in the month of December. Blue moons are properly said to occur when there are 4 full moons in a season. By this measure, the next blue moon is November 21st, 2010. However, it is also commonplace to call the second moon in a calendar month a blue moon. This definition of the blue moon is a relatively modern one. The earliest record of this usage dates back to 1946, when it appeared in an issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.
So this is it, the last full moon of 2009, a blue moon seeing in 2010. I hope it portends well for the upcoming year. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable celebration and a year that brings you much joy. Happy New Year!
The full December moon is called the Cold Moon. That seems a little obvious, at least here in the north. Winter is generally well underway by December. But this year, that’s not the case. We had a little dusting of snow the other night, but it melted quickly. On December 2nd, the day of the full moon, the temperature was up at 40° F (5° C) at 11:00 AM as measured in a shaded area out of the sun. And it was a pleasant, sunny day. Just a little blip in routine seasonal variation? Or a symptom of something more frightening?
This December will have two full moons. The second occurs on December 31st, New Year’s Eve! That will be a cool way to start 2010. Blue moons are properly said to occur when there are 4 full moons in a season. By this measure, the next blue moon is November 21st, 2010. However, it is also commonplace to call the second moon in a calendar month a blue moon. So, if you’ve got something you only get around to once in a blue moon, get ready because that day is coming soon!
October was so rainy and overcast during the full moon period that I wasn’t able to get a glimpse of the moon, never mind a photo. I settled for a post celebrating the fall harvest, Dining With the Three Sisters. November has begun by blessing us with some sunny weather and the moon has been beaming down in the evening. The November full moon is variously called the Hunter’s Moon, the Beaver Moon, the Frost Moon and the Snow Moon.
Of these choices, the Frost Moon seems the most appropriate. We have been having our first taste of waking up to a landscape of white frost and windshields that need scraping in the morning. As the season progresses, each morning the frost seems a little heavier, a little more persistent. Thank goodness Snow Mooon is not yet the order of the day. No doubt by the time the December full moon is shining, Snow Moon will be more timely.
Hunter’s Moon is said to be a reflection of European traditions, when the November full moon provided light for shooting migrating birds. Native Americans also benefited from the light of the November full moon as they stockpiled resources for the upcoming winter. This perhaps led to the name Beaver Moon, as November was a time to set traps for beavers, before swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm furs for the winter. Another interpretation is that Beaver Moon refers to the beavers’ own industrious preparations for the oncoming cold season.
Whichever name you prefer, viewing the full moon always seems to have some primeval appeal. The last mild evenings of the year make watching the November full moon a melancholic pleasure as we anticipate the arrival of cold weather.