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Archive for the ‘Full Moon’ Category

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Tonight, the September full moon, the harvest moon, is lighting the sky. We’ve been enjoying a few days of perfect weather, with cool nights followed by sunny days that still hold the warmth of summer. The cold nights have finally freed us from swarms of mosquitos and flies and the horses, instead of huddling in their shelter all day, trying to avoid the heat and biting insects, have been enjoying life. Enjoying being horses, wandering deep into their field, feeling free. Content.

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When I went out to check on my little herd this evening, I found that an evening mist was rising from puddled water as the night air cooled. That’s Diva on the left, then Czarina and the two donkeys, Teddy and Louis. When Teddy first joined us, he was the same size as Louis, but he kept on growing and growing… Now he’s quite a bit bigger. But that hasn’t detracted at all from their deep friendship. They’re always together. Can you see Louis’ ears?

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They followed me up the field and into the barn for their evening grain. When they had finished, I opened their stall doors and they hurried back to their field, returning to being wild horses, breathing in the night air under the harvest moon.

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March Moonrise

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August Moon, Frog Pond

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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February Full Moon

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Full Moon Rising

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Looking West

Looking West: Sunset

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Looking East: Moonrise

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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.

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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!

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December Full Moon

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!

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