Old Woman Who Never Dies
a clear night, the night sky is a wonder to behold and there is no admission fee
for sky watching.
is one object in the sky that has drawn the attention of many people since time
began and that is the moon. The
Sioux tribes called the moon, The Old Woman Who Never Dies.
often let us know when there is a lunar eclipse, a meteor shower, or other event
of interest in the night sky but one of the best ways to enjoy the night sky is
just to look upward. There is
nothing quite like taking a walk in the moonlight underneath an umbrella of
stars or camping out below the stars on a blanket on the ground.
moon seems to elicit all kinds of thoughts from the scientific to the romantic.
We can think of everything from the childrens nursery rhyme that
states, The cow jumped over the moon, to the mellifluous song Moon
River. Most of all, we seem to
enjoy the brilliance and beauty of the full moon.
Harvest Moon often comes to mind as the one that seems to shine brighter and
larger than the other full moons. Yet, scientists tell us that when the moon
seems to appear very large on the horizon that it is just an illusion.
Illusion or not, it is quite a beautiful sight to behold.
the moon as it first comes up on the horizon appears to be bright red or orange
but the moon does not change colors. The
color has to do with the amount of dust in the earths atmosphere.
Harvest Moon is so named because for many years farmers took advantage of the
moon lit nights to gather in their crops in the fall of the year.
A full Harvest Moon was a great deal of help to farmers before the advent
of farm machinery with lights.
determine when The Harvest Moon will appear, it is always the full moon that is
closest to the autumn equinox. The
equinox this year happens on September 22, 2004, at 12:30 EDT.
That means that the full moon will appear this year on September 28th.
Harvest Moon is not the only full moon that has been given a name.
Many of the names date back to the American Indians.
Before there were calendars, time could be counted by how many moons had
names given mainly coincide with a characteristic of the month in which it
is the only month that sometimes does not have a full moon due to the shorter
number of days in the month. Although,
some full moons have been called by more than one name, I have only included the
ones most commonly used:
name we sometimes hear mentioned is a blue moon. I recently heard someone say that they only took a trip
once in a blue moon. I
know that the expression means something that a person does not do very often
but I decided to see just how often a blue moon occurs.
I discovered that the term blue moon is given to the second full
moon that appears within the same calendar month.
The last blue moon occurred just this past July because we had two full
moons that month. The next blue
moon will not happen until June of 2007, so now is the time to procrastinate if
you wish to use the blue moon as an excuse.
As for me, I only wash windows once in a blue moon.
I think that the dust on my windows would probably be given at least an
SPF rating of 15. Thats better than a lot of tanning lotions so I
shouldnt have to worry about those dangerous UV sunrays!
any rate, whether it is a blue moon or a harvest moon, dont forget to watch
for The Old Woman Who Never Dies.