Friday the 13th brought the most famous Full Moon of the year - the Harvest Moon. The Old Farmers Almanac had several little known facts I thought you might find interesting.
Astronomically, the Harvest Moon is the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox (and things really are being harvested right around now). The Harvest Moon isn’t always in the same month. It can fall in September or October . This year it was this past Friday the 13th.
Why Does the Harvest Moon Look Orange? Nothing differentiates a Harvest Moon in appearance. It’s more of a lunar phenomenon. This full Moon might look orange and enormous when it’s low. But all Moons do that. They look orange or red in color because your eyes are looking through a greater thickness of Earth’s atmosphere. They look larger when near the horizon because of what we call the "Moon Illusion."
What about Friday the 13th? Nothing makes a full Moon on Friday the 13th special except that it’s a fairly rare calendar coincidence since Friday the 13th only happens one to three times a year. The next full Moon on a Friday the 13th takes place on August 13, 2049.
The Moon is one of only four celestial objects that can cast shadows on Earth (the other three being the Sun, Venus, and the rare fireball meteor).
Still, the Moon is NOT a good reflector of light. In fact, it’s awful. On average, its terrain reflects just 8 to 13 percent of incoming sunlight, which matches the darkness of asphalt. By comparison, Earth reflects 35% of the sunlight hitting us, while shiny Venus reflects 76%. If a moon-sized Venus sat at the Moon’s distance from us, it would appear seven times more brilliant than the full Moon, enough to give us a blue sky at night.
On Weather: The air nearest to the ground experiences a worldwide monthly warming of about 0.04 (4/100) of a degree Fahrenheit during the period from 5-8 days after the full Moon. This tiny monthly temperature rise is still not understood, but may be caused by the moon’s hot daytime surface throwing infrared heat our way, like a bathroom heater.
In addition, there is a statistically greater probability of cloudiness, storminess, and rainfall around the full Moon than would be expected by chance. This effect, too, has not been fully explained.
There you have it – a little potpourri of Moon this and that. And, nothing unlucky about it. Just the facts.
Comments are welcomed.
So I’m sitting here at my computer wondering where I might find inspiration. It’s been said that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. Or was that something else in unexpected places? I’m sticking with inspiration. Now I not only need to find inspiration, but I also need to find unexpected places. That’s a little bit of a conundrum, wouldn’t you say?
Okay. Where to begin? I scoured my apartment from top to bottom, checked all the nooks and crannies. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to latch onto to write about. Guess I’ll have to don a trench coat, fedora, and spy glass and go out into the world to do some sleuthing. Ah, those unexpected places harboring inspiration, where could they be? They are not in my neighborhood as everything is a crazy mess due to road construction. I’ll have to look elsewhere. Or, maybe I need to rethink this whole thing.
Ok. I am now in rethinking mode. There are a number of ways to go with this. One is going out in the world to try to find something or someone that gives you pause in a positive way. Another may be about being inspired by beautiful artworks or music. Maybe we have memories of special events or people who touched our hearts. Maybe a walk in nature that brings forth awe and wonder for all creation.
What I finally realized is that you do not have to go anywhere or do anything special to be inspired. Inspiration often comes from the heart and/or soul. When that happens one does what one is prompted to do be it something of a creative nature or a way to be of service to others or both. Coming to that realization was rather comforting and left me feeling more relaxed and peaceful.
I also became aware of something worth noting. In my case there is a trigger to all this. The trigger is – wait for it – coffee. Yup. You can consult Professor Google to see the myriads of benefits of coffee depending how many cups you drink. Although I only have one cup a day, I still find it quite the elixir. Since I only have the one cup, it must be of the highest quality and organic when possible.
What is the connection between coffee and inspiration? Glad you asked. The benefit that popped for me was when coffee gets to the brain from the blood stream, it inhibits the neurotransmitter andocine. That causes a stimulant effect which boosts memory, energy, mood and brain function. That pretty much says it all. With a little bit of coffee enhanced mood and brain function, I am good to go. Alright, now that I’ve sorted out this inspiration thing, let’s see what unfolds for next week.
Comments are welcomed.
Happy Labor Day. Or is it being the last long weekend of summer. It begins all over again tomorrow – school, work, realizing the year’s end is more near than far. Forget I mentioned that last one. There is so much excitement, wonder, adventure to be had in the coming days.
Being a former teacher, I’d like to revisit a couple of memorable school days. The experiences I had as a Special Education teacher often lead to people suggesting I write a book. If you’ve read any of my blogs in which I talk about my anti-writing attitude, you know that ain’t gonna happen. Instead I’d like to relate a couple of stand out memories from my own school days. The first one took place in second grade. This might horrify parents in today’s culture around student discipline (or lack of it). One of the boys was a bit of a cut up. Miss L would get a little exasperated with him. One day she apparently had enough. Her big punishment was to have H sit under her desk. The morning continued on and before we knew it was lunch time. Off we went to the lunch room, but there was no H. Where was he? What could have happened? Turns out that he fell asleep under Miss L’s desk and everyone, including her, forgot about him. H turned out to be a fine person suffering no signs of PTSD from his confinement. He actually rather enjoyed having a mid morning nap. The rest of us had lots of chuckles about it. I’m sure Miss L did not find it amusing.
Fast forward to tenth grade. Back in the day a tracking system was used. My cousin and I were in the college prep track. For some unknown reason the powers that be authorized students to sign up for the track of our choice. Of course, my cousin and I enrolled ourselves in the track we figured would require the least amount of work and effort. There we were all smug and smiles certain we would skate through the upcoming year. Then one not so fine day we were called into the office. Seems they caught onto us and promptly returned us to the college prep group. It was great fun while it lasted and we still felt like we got away with one short lived as it was.
My friends and I engaged in countless shenanigans over the years as young'uns are want to do. All were quite harmless. All part of growing up while enjoying the early years. Now my favorite thing about back to school week is that I no longer have to go back to school. In closing, I’d like you to know that if I had your address I would send you a beautiful bouquet of Crayola crayons.
Comments are welcomed.
There’s something about August. Especially late August. The air is cooler and dryer. The sun sets a little earlier. Gardens are being harvested. Summer vacations are drawing to a close. Kids are returning home from camps. Fair season has begun. Back to school is lurking around the corner. Even though there are still many warm days ahead, there is also a sudden feeling that the first small step into autumn was taken.
There is something about August. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Yet, this something is a pleasant sort of something. Maybe you don’t feel the same and that’s fine. Every month has it’s own particular vibe and things we associate with a given month. You know, like back to school in September, pumpkins and Halloween in October, special holidays in December and so on throughout the year.
For me, there is still something about August beyond all that I’ve mentioned so far. Maybe it’s a metaphysical thing. When there is no other concrete explanation, we can always attribute things to the planets being out of alignment, eclipses, solar flares, meteor showers, the aurora borealis. Pick one. My personal preference is whatever my imagination conjures up on any given day. So, as I write this, let’s go with the fact that August and Autumn have the same first, second and fourth letters. What can I conclude from that? Perhaps, the best of August merges with the best of Autumn to create a unique vibe in the air. Okay. That’s kind of out there. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got.
If you are like me, I always want to understand how and why things happen or are the way they are. Perhaps we don’t always need to know. Perhaps it is enough to simply accept, enjoy and appreciate what is.
Just one more thing. I came across this unusual day in August. If you’ve had any encounters with zucchini you will appreciate this. August 8 is National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbors’ Porch Day. Personally, I would designate all of August as Make Zucchini Disappear month.*
*Up Not Down On The Farm recounts my foray through horticultural hell staving off a zucchini onslaught.
Comments are always welcomed.