Monday, October 17, 2016

Falling leaves moon #phenology

It was a foggy, soggy morning, following a thunderstormy night.  The storms have moved on. The fog has burned off. We're left with cloudy, overcast skies and clean but dampened peak color among the leaves that haven't yet fallen.

Falling leaves moon
Falling leaves moon
Photo by J. Harrington

Last night's local clouds precluded any kind of view of the full moon. The setting moon yesterday morning, and the rising moon the night before, were both bright white. I don't know how some of the folks in other locations got photo's of the golden moon I usually think of when I hear "Hunter's Moon," but we're not to be thwarted. The moon we (I) expected to see is shown above, it's just from a couple of years ago.

lots of color, with some bare branches
lots of color, with some bare branches
Photo by J. Harrington

The Anishnaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) name October's full moon the "falling leaves moon" (binaakwe-giizis). In Minnesota, leaves definitely are falling at this time of year. Small game, waterfowl and bow hunting seasons are open, so October does qualify as a "hunters moon," although firearms season for whitetail deer isn't until November, when the full moon is the "freezing moon." For future reference, I think I'll adopt the Anishinaabe names for the full moons. They seem to fit better what I think I've learned of the seasonal monthly markers around here.

The Falling Leaves

By Margaret Postgate Cole

November 1915

Today, as I rode by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed
Like snowflakes falling on the Flemish clay.

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