Friday, October 6, 2017

We're All Ears :: October Inspiration :: Harvest Moon

What's in a name? that which we call a moon
By any other name would shine as bright.

 (With apologies to William Shakespeare)

I love the sky in October. It is my favorite time of year. There is a crispness in the air that I swear makes colors brighter against the blue expanse of sky. The sunsets are richer, and seem to catch fire to the trees that respond in kind with sunset robes of their own. 

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash
Did you know that there are names for all the moons throughout the year? There's the Wolf Moon, Crow Moon, Flower Moon, Fruit Moon and the Frosty Moon. But the moon that I always remember is the one that rose last night, October 5, 2017...the Harvest Moon.

"Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we call the closest full moon to the autumn equinox the Harvest Moon. In 2017, the September equinox came on September 22. And the September full moon came early in the month, on the night of September 5-6 for the Americas. Thus, for the the Northern Hemisphere, the full moon of October 5 – the closest full moon to our autumn equinox – is our Harvest Moon." 

Photo by Tony Detroit on Unsplash
The Harvest moon is pretty special. It was named such because farmers could use the bright illumination of the full moon to bring in their burgeoning crops into the night. The full moons closest to the autumnal equinox rise sooner after sunset than at other times, just 35 minutes versus 50 minutes. That early moonrise gives the appearance that it is hanging low in the sky, so close that it looks as though you could reach out and pluck it from the sky. This is called the Moon Illusion. The orange color is just a trick of your eyes. The atmosphere at the horizon is a greater thickness than higher overhead. The increased thickness of the atmosphere at the horizon scatters blue light in the spectrum the most allowing red light to pass to your eyes which is why the hue will appear more yellow, orange or reddish.

So go out and take a peek a the Harvest Moon tonight or this weekend and get inspired. If you miss it, you can set your calendar for the Hunter's Moon, which is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon and will set the sky ablaze on November 3rd and 4th as a supermoon, meaning it will be even closer in orbit to the horizon causing it to appear HUGE!

Are you up to the challenge? What does that mean? I am glad you asked! Here's a recap of the challenge to hopefully encourage you to play along! Won't you join me? Reveal date: Friday, October 20th.


  1. I might need to bring moon things to the retreat!

  2. Ours was quite magical a few nights ago.

  3. I did see the moon that night. It was definitely impressive. I've already got an idea for my to figure out if I can actually make them. Thanks for the inspiration.