Harvest Moon


I've had an affinity for the night sky since forever. But not in an astronomical way (that's too scientific and I'm right-brained), my fascination is less sophisticated. I'm a casual stargazer at best, though I do appreciate the occasional astrological phenomena, like the recent Perseids meteor shower in August. I'm not strong at identifying the constellations, but I do know most of the mythology behind them. And while stars, planets, and other celestial bodies are cool, what really gets me is the moon. I feel a connection with her. We're tight. In fact, I've gotten quite familiar with the old girl. I call her Luna.

Sometimes she'll be up there, demurely revealing just a sliver of skin. Or she'll be flushed and peachy-colored, pretending to be modest. Most of the time though, she's strutting her stuff across the  sky. And when she's full, she's a down right show-off, swinging her hips and stomping down that arcing runway with all the confidence of Gisele. I have to call her out: Luna, you're being a little extra. Settle down. It's probably said in envy, if I'm being honest though because lets admit it, she's pretty stunning at her fullest.

The full moon is traditionally associated with insanity which, by the way, is where the terms lunacy and lunatic come from. (There, you learn something new every day.) There is no strong evidence for effects on human behavior around the time of a full moon, but I'll admit that I can get a bit cray cray whenever it comes around.  She's just so distracting that I can't help but turn to look at her, which is probably a little dangerous and I should just avoid operating heavy machinery when every that sassy Luna shows her face.
The moon was at its fullest at 7:15 this morning (although it looked pretty close to it last night and will again tonight). The September full moon is special because it is the "Harvest Moon". It has inspired songs and poems and in honor of the event, I have a few more fun facts, courtesy of The Farmer's Almanac:
  • The "Harvest Moon" is the full moon closest to autumnal equinox - the date when day and night are about the same length (aka: first official day of Fall).
  • The Harvest Moon is unique because the time difference between moon rises on successive evenings is much shorter than average - there is no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise 
  • It got it's name because at the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon
During this time of year I find the moon to be particularly enchanting - an augury of the upcoming season, perhaps? This is when she really shines, so put on some Niel Young or Van Morrison, wrap yourself in a fuzzy blanket, and go enjoy the Luna in her full glory tonight. Heck, pick up a seasonal brew on your way home and kick-start the weekend a day early.



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