Saturday, June 30, 2007

Illuminating Orb

Did you peek at it last night? It was brilliant. And will be even more so tonight. Tonight you will be seeing, not just the full moon, but the Full Strawberry Moon. It actually becomes that at 9:49 a.m. this morning, but the show will be at sunset tonight. That's when this orb of brilliance and mystery begins her nightly roll across a field of midnight blue.

Every full moon has a name - did you know that? Names for the full moons date back to Native Americans who lived in the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Even though there are some variations in the names, they are generally the same ones that were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. The European settlers continued the custom and created some of their own names. Because a lunar month is only 29 days, the dates of the full moon shift from year to year, so you have to check the dates out for the new year.

Tonight, we will be looking at the Full Strawberry Moon; the name for the full moon of June. This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe; however, in Europe they called it the 'Rose Moon.' Also, because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, the full moon that occurs during this month was christened for the strawberry.

There is much lore regarding this celestial body. Much of it passed on by the Native Americans who respected and revered Mother Earth and the universe. One of the best books that pays tribute to this is called 13 moons on Turtle's Back - a wonderful children's book that explains the history of how names for full moons came to be. (even though it's a children's book, it satisfies the adult quest to know more!) A quick 'google' on the internet brings all sort of sites with a wealth of wonderful information about the moon! Did you know that the light from the moon takes about 1 1/2 seconds to reach Earth?
I have been in awe and simply fascinated by the moon since I was a little girl. My brother had a telescope and we'd look at the moon and be thrilled with how much you could see - the shadows, the craters the brilliant moon shine! When I was in 4th grade, I was going to be an astronaut and fly there! Instead, I became a teacher and landed in Arizona, but I have never lost my love and admiration for this beauty.
A friend and I have just made plans to go to our town library tonight. They have a amazing riparian preserve AND a telescope/astronomy center. Tonight, they will be featuring viewing of the full moon and several planets that are in their glory. K is coming over for a throw- together dinner, then we're heading over to view the sky! I can't wait! So tonight, grab your binoculars, your camera, your telescope, your loved one, your iced tea, your cat - anything! - and find a place to watch the moon make her entrance onto the night stage. It's a show that I never get tired of seeing!


Simplicity Wins said...

That is so great. I learned a bunch of new facts just from checking out yoru blog this morning. Good thing I didn't have plans I can sit out back and watch the moon. Thanks for all the 'Moon factoids"

Chickenbells said...

Wonderful! Thank you for all the interesting should be a teacher. Wait a minute...

I think I may head out to The Dells tonight after a little art gallery opening I have planned, and maybe go out and hike a bit and take some pictures...who knows? Enjoy your evening lovey!