the old farmer’s almanac

Christmas Countdown 12.0

Posted on Updated on

Welcome to the Winter Solstice. ~Vic

From Why Christmas:

The evergreen Fir Tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (Pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.

Town Christmas Tree Image One
Town Christmas Tree
12-05-2020
Town Christmas Tree Image Two
All Lit Up
12-09-2020
Reinvintaged Tree Image Three
Re-Invintaged
12-09-2020
Jupiter Saturn Conjunction Image Four
The Great 2020 Conjunction
Christmas Star
Image Credit: staffblogs.le.ac.uk

Christmas Countdown 11.0

Sturgeon Moon 2020

Posted on

Sturgeon Moon Image One
Image Credit: Moon Giant

August’s full moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon, after the primitive fish that used to be abundant in North America’s lakes and rivers during the summer months. Having remained mostly unchanged since the earliest fossil records, sturgeons are ancient living fossils that can grow up [to] 3.5 meters long, or as long as two adult humans stacked on top of each other. Nowadays, however, it’s almost impossible to see a sturgeon during the Full Sturgeon Moon. While they used to thrive, sturgeons are now considered […] critically endangered […]. Though sturgeons are extremely long-lived, the females can live up to be 150 years old, sturgeons might not be around for much longer. They might have survived the dinosaurs but, they might not be able to survive human beings and our hunger for luxurious delicacies like caviar.

Sturgeon Moon Image Two
Image Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

In North America, Native American tribes also saw the Full Sturgeon Moon as signifying a time of bountiful harvest. The Cherokee tribes called it the Full [End of the] Fruit Moon [or Drying Up Moon] and many other First Nation tribes referred to it as the [Blackberry] Moon [or Blackberry Patches Moon]. The Sioux called it the Moon When [The Geese Shed Their Feathers or Cherries Turn Black]. The Paint Clans, which were known for their medicinal prowess, would harvest herbs and medicines, while the Wild Potato tribes would forage for food. Naturally, they would also catch a lot of sturgeon.

Moon Giant Website

I got squat for a Moon shot. We’ve got Isaias spinning around here. I also don’t have any previous years shots but, I did a post two years ago. So, I’ve trotted over to Unsplash. Another name given to the Sturgeon Moon is Red Moon. Full illumination occurred at 11:59am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Red Moon Image Two
Photo Credit: Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

Other Names:
Ricing Moon & Flying Moon (Ojibwe)
Corn Moon (Stockbridge-Munsee & Oneida)
Hot Moon (Tunica-Biloxi)

Native American Moon Names (American Indian Alaska Native Tourism)
Indian Moons (American Indian Site)
Native American Moons (Western Washington University)

Buck Moon 2020

Posted on

Full Buck Moon Image One
Image Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

This is my first Buck Moon post. I totally missed 2019 & 2018. There was also a penumbral lunar eclipse happening, as well. Full illumination occurred at 12:44am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Buck Moon Image One
Skeleton Tree Hand
Waxing Gibbous
07-03-2020

The Full Moon in July is the Buck Moon, named after the new antlers that emerge from a buck’s forehead around this time of the year. It is also called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon and Wort Moon. For farmers, high summer [is] the time to cut and cure hay to put away for winter feed.

Buck Moon Image Two
Spooky trees.

One of the more common names for this month’s Full Moon is the Thunder Moon, a tribute from the Algonquin to a time of year when spectacular electrical storms rake the northern forests. The Chinese deserve credit for an equally ominous name. The moon coincides with the Hungry Ghost Festival, a time when the living honor the dead by leaving food and drink to the ancestors. Their name? The Moon of the Hungry Ghosts.

Buck Moon Image Three
From the parking deck.
07-14-2020

Wort Moon [indicates] that July is the time to gather herbs (worts) to dry and use as spices and remedies. Additional names are Halfway Summer Moon (Ojibwe/Chippewa), Blueberry Moon (Ojibwe), Raspberry Moon (Ojibwe), Flying Moon (Ojibwe), Thunderstorm Moon (Catawba), Corn in Tassel [Moon] (Eastern Band Cherokee), Honey Bee Moon (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin), String Bean Moon (Oneida) and Little Sister of the Summer Moon (Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana).

Additional Reading & Sources:
Native American Moon Names (American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association)
Full Buck Moon (Farmers’ Almanac 1818)
Full Moon Names (Moon Connection)
Full Thunder Moon (Moon Giant)
Full Moon For July (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
July: Buck Moon (Time and Date)

Snapshots Sunday: Solstice Shots

Posted on Updated on

I dropped the ball and missed posting about our Summer Solstice. I did catch some pictures, though and a Snapshots Sunday is a perfect reason to post them. I posted about the Solstice in 2018, shortly after I had started blogging, again, after a four year absence. I did an Almanac write-up on the Solstice in 2019. This year’s Solstice occurred at 5:44pm EDT, yesterday. ~Vic

Daisy Group Image One
Daisy Family
Sea Turtle Cloud Image Two
It looks like a Sea Turtle, swimming towards me…sort of…
Cone Flower Image Three
Cone flowers in the Pollinator Garden
Feather Cloud Image Four
Big Feather
New Growth Image Five
New Growth
Bird Flight Image Six
In Flight
Stonehenge Image Seven
Photo Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

Some Folklore:
♦ In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice coincided with the rising of the Nile River. As it was crucial to predict this annual flooding, the Egyptian New Year began at this important solstice.
♦ In centuries past, the Irish would cut hazel branches on solstice eve to be used in searching for gold, water and precious jewels.
♦ Many European cultures hold what are known as Midsummer celebrations at the solstice, which include gatherings at Stonehenge and the lighting of bonfires on hilltops.

Pink Moon 2020

Posted on Updated on

Pink Moon Farmers Almanac 1818 Image One
Image Credit: farmersalmanac.com

Our full moon this month is a Super Moon, as was last month‘s…which I totally missed. I did a Pink Moon post last year with all the different names so, I won’t repeat them here.

Perigee Apogee Old Farmer's Almanac Image Two
Image Credit: almanac.com

I also didn’t have any immediate shots because of the weather and wound up posting some older pictures. Earlier, I thought the weather wasn’t going to cooperate tonight, either and I shared some older pix, below. But, it rose beautifully, without much cloud interference. It is a bit hazy, tho. I saved it for last. All photos are my personal collection ©, unless otherwise stated.

Full illumination occurs at 10:35pm EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Pink Moon 2017 Image Three
Spooky
04-10-2017
Pink Moon 2018 Image Four
Peek-a-boo!
04-28-2018
Pink Moon 2019 Image Five
Waxing Gibbous four days earlier.
Not sure why I didn’t post this last year.
04-15-2019
Pink Moon 2020 Image Six
Last night’s walk.
Moon over the Library.
04-06-2020
Pink Moon 2020 Image Seven
Got this standing in the middle of the street.
The tree is holding on.
04-07-2020

References:
Full Moons (Moon Giant)
Full Moon Dates & Times (Farmers’ Almanac 1818)
Full Moon Names (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
Pink Moon (Time and Date)

Vernal Equinox 2020

Posted on Updated on

Well, Spring has finally sprung and not a moment too soon. I’m sitting in my Adirondack chair, with my bare feet on the ground, watching the sunset through the limbs of my Hackberry tree. Yes, I have short feet. Shut up. (All photos are my personal collection. ©)

Grounding Image One
Grounding with Mother Earth on the Vernal Equinox

According to the Farmers’ Almanac 1818, this is the earliest First Day of Spring in 124 years. Yahoo! Maybe some warm, beautiful weather will offset the corona beer virus and this needless, manufactured hysteria that has appeared with it.

Japanese Maple Image Two
Japanese Maple waking up.
Hackberry in the background.

I did a Vernal Equinox post last year when it coincided with the Full Worm Moon. In our area, it was as high as 80° and I was out in it. My buddy Ray had some errands to run so, off we went to the county north of us. Once the errands were completed, we headed to downtown Roxboro for lunch & a minor visit to their museum (pictures coming tomorrow).

Museum Flagpole Image Three
Lunch at the museum with a view of the flag.

From Farmers’ Almanac 1818:

[Spring] will occur at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere […]. Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21 but, astronomers and calendar manufacturers, alike, now say that the spring season starts on March 20th, in all time zones in North America. And, in 2020, it’s even a day earlier than that…something that hasn’t happened since 1896.

Narcissus Image Four
Happy Narcissus in my side yard.

There are a few reasons why seasonal dates can vary from year to year. The first is that a year is not an even number of days and neither are the seasons. Another reason is that the earth’s elliptical orbit is changing its orientation (skew), which causes the earth’s axis to constantly point in a different direction, called precession. Since the seasons are defined as beginning at strict 90-degree intervals, these positional changes affect the time the earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the sun. The pull of gravity from the other planets also affects the location of the earth in its orbit.

Cheers! ~Vic

Additional Interesting Reading:
First Day of Spring (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)