Friday, October 6, 2006

"Oh, shine on, shine on harvest moon up in the sky." ~ Jack Norworth, 1908

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I love the night sky with its mysterious stars and planets. Gazing up on a clear night is a humbling experience as it's then that you can see how very big the universe is and how very small a part of it we are. That's even more the case this time of year when we have just passed the autumnal equinox, one of the two times a year when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length, and we get to enjoy the Full Harvest Moon.

As defined in the Old Farmers' Almanac:

Full Harvest Moon - This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.
This year's autumnal equinox occured on September 23rd which makes the full moon this weekend a Full Harvest Moon and it will be at its glorious peak tonight at 11:12 p.m. If you never go outside and look up in the sky to look at the moon, tonight would be the perfect time to start as it's going to be absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.

Due to a call-out at work yesterday, I ended up working a ridiculous amount of hours (close to 21) and when I left work at 3:30 a.m. the moon was a beautiful sight hanging over Norwich. Unlike the sun, when the moon illuminates the landscape it's kinder to it and it can make just about any place seem enchanted. Walking up my porch steps (okay, more like dragging myself up my porch steps!) when I got home, I spent a few moments standing on the porch and looking up into the night sky. The moon was brilliant, the stars were just as bright, and I felt that all was as it should be.
"God's in His Heaven, all's right with the world" ~ Robert Browning, English poet (1812-1889)
I hope the weather allows for the moon to be seen again tonight for even though I have no crops to gather or moon rituals to perform, I'm sure it will be a beautiful sight. Take a look up at the night sky and let me know what you think!


1 comment:

  1. As a matter of fact, Linda, I DID take a look up at the sky last night, as I watched my wife pull out of the driveway. (She's also a night owl for work schedule). I knew that the moon was going to be at its fullest, so I made the effort to go downstairs and stand on my "porch". I was NOT disappointed. Even my dreary neighborhood looked a little better in the moonlight. The sky was truely breath-taking. It actually brought me back to when I used to do this as a kid. Nice blog, by the way!

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