Birdgirl again. Monday night was the full moon, or more precisely, the wee hours of Tuesday morning was, as it occurred at 5:21 am. I missed it by a day, but it wouldn’t have mattered – the evening of the full moon was clouded over and rainy. With all the rain we’ve been experiencing lately, we were lucky to have clear skies last night to be able to see it, albeit a little past the true peak full moon. As dusk settled, a low-lying misty fog moved in across the fields, shrouding the trees in a pale haze that the bright moon illuminated, casting an eerie but magical feel to the landscape.
Native Americans named the July full moon the Buck Moon, because this is the time of year when White-tailed Deer bucks start growing their new antlers in preparation for the fall rut. It has often been called the Thunder Moon as well, since most thunderstorms occur in these humid summer days. European settlers called it the Hay Moon, as it took place at about the time of the first summer haying.
The July full moon also happens to closely coincide with the moon’s apogee – that is, the point in the moon’s orbit when it is furthest from earth. Because of the extra distance, the Buck Moon will appear about 12% smaller to the earthbound moon-watcher than the Wolf Moon of January, when the moon was at perigee, its closest.