“Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon… cause I missed my test…”
I had a history teacher in high school who would sing those words to his class frequently as he drew a big “harvest moon” in the air with his finger – or, in other words, a zero.
Funny how things get drilled into your brain. I love a big, beautiful full moon, but Roy Delco’s little serenade to his students is always the first thing that comes to mind at this time of year when the annual Harvest Moon comes around.
Yes, by the time you read this, the Sun will have crossed the celestial equator from north to south and the northern hemisphere – us included – will begin the fast decline into winter, while those in the southern hemisphere will look forward to summer.
In the wee morning hours of Sept. 23 we will celebrate – if we feel like staying up until 1:22 am – the autumnal equinox as summer turns to fall.
That means watching anxiously for signs of impending frost so we can save the last of the ripening crops; snow tires; scraping frost from the windshield; Thanksgiving; the end of Daylight Savings (Nov. 1); increasingly shorter day light; much canning and food storage; goodbye to the osprey and other migratory birds as they head south; Hallowe’en; and a big ol’ Harvest Moon!
This year’s HM is Sept. 27/28. What makes this full moon so special is the early evening appearance, giving the moon its name because farmers (supposedly) use the light of the moon to finish harvesting their crops before the inevitable end of the season.
Plus, it’s a “supermoon” this year, meaning it’s going to look a little bigger than normal because it’s closer to the Earth than usual – only 356,896 kms.
AND we may see a lunar eclipse to boot! Exciting, eh? It’ll be most notable on the east coast as the Earth gets between the Moon and that big ball of fire known as the Sun. The next one is in 2033.
Sounds like a great time to get out the cameras and tripod and practice that night time photography.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal