October 08, 2014

Eclipse

October 8, 2014 Photo (281/365): "Blood Moon"

Did you see the lunar eclipse this morning? If so, you certainly don't need another super-edited iPhoto, but since the event this rare and it was the first thing that caught my eye this morning, it seems like an appropriate photo of the day. Yet it's not only the vision of this morning's lunar eclipse that caused the moon to shine an eerie, rusty red that got my attention; I'm also fascinated by it's name, "The Blood Moon" -- how wonderfully creepy and appropriate for a full moon in October!  

It seems as though just recently more mention has been made of the Native American nicknames for the full moons in each month. Of course, I know what a blue moon is (two full moons in the same month). We haven't had one since August 2012, and there won't be another until July 31, 2015. But I hadn't heard of all these other wonderfully descriptive moon monikers. In August, mention of the Sturgeon Moon peaked my interest and now this Blood Moon compelled me to do a little research in the Farmer's Almanac
  • January: "The Wolf Moon" when snow gathers deep in the woods and the howling wolves can be heard echoing in the cold still air.
  • February: "The Snow Moon" when the snow piles even higher. Some tribes also called the February moon the Hunger Moon due to the challenging hunting conditions.
  • March: "The Worm Moon" when snow begins to melt, the ground softens, and earthworms begin to appear. Christian settlers also called March the "Lenten Moon", the last moon of winter.
  • April: "The Pink Moon" when flowers begin to appear, including wild, pink ground phlox. 
  • May: "The Flower Moon" when flowers are in full bloom.
  • June: "The Strawberry Moon" when strawberry-picking season reaches its peak.
  • July: "The Buck Moon" when deer start growing velvety hair-covered antlers. Frequent thunderstorms also resulted in the name "Thunder Moon".
  • August: "The Sturgeon Moon" when sturgeon, large fish common to the Great Lakes (and namesake of the Larson-Horne family's hometown), are most easily caught.
  • September: "The Harvest Moon" when corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and rice are ready for harvest. The strong light of the Harvest Moon allowed farmers to work late into the night to harvest their crops. ("Harvest Moon" is also a great song by Neil Young.)
  • October: "The Hunter's Moon" when hunters can ride easily over the fields' stubble, and fox and other animals are more easily spotted.
  • November: "The Frosty Moon" when frost begins to appear in fields and on trees.
  • December: "The Cold Moon" when temperatures plummet, the winter nights lengthen, and the moon spends more time above the horizon opposite a low sun.