Shaggy gardens and hedgerows of maturing rosehips, fields of hay and ripening orchards, bees humming in the clover, the daisies and the goldenrod...
July's full moon is the second of the four "gathering" moons that grace the interval between June and September. We are a week past the Summer Solstice (Midsummer or Litha), and daylight hours north of the equator are already waning, but it's summer by any definition we can come up with, and it's a festive time - skies often blue and flooded with sunshine by day, violet and star spangled by night. This month's full moon is often a supermoon, but this year supermoons are happening in August, September and October and not July. The biggest supermoon, on September 28, is also a full lunar eclipse.
Images captured on full moon nights often resemble paintings when they are uploaded into the computer, and no matter how often that happens, it always comes as a surprise. There is something about the velvety dome of a fine summer night that lends itself to lofty thoughts of journeying and exploration, to broad and sweeping brush strokes and magical images like sky sailing galleons, dragon boats and balloons. Just being out under a summer moon seems convey a sense of connection that is hard to describe in words - it is just as the late Carl Sagan wrote so eloquently:
"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
Not so long ago, I wrote (or rather scratched) a note to myself, a sticky mauve reminder to remember Carl Sagan's words and the star stuff within. The thought is uplifting on days when arthritis or chemotherapy or plain old age get the upper hand and leave me feeling somewhat fragile, a tad crotchety and despondent. The other uplifting thing to do (of course) is to screw a macro lens on the camera, grab notebook and pencil and go pottering about in hedgerows with Spencer.
We also know this magical moon as the: Blackberry Moon, Blessing Moon, Blueberry Moon, Buck Moon, Claim Song Moon, Corn Moon, Crane Moon, Daisy Moon, Fallow Moon, Feather Moulting Moon, Flying Moon, Grass Cutter Moon, Ground Burning Moon, Hay Moon, Heat Moon, Horse Moon, Humpback Salmon Return to Earth Moon, Hungry Ghost Moon, Index Finger Moon, Larkspur Moon, Lightning Moon, Little Harvest Moon, Little Moon of Deer Horns Dropping off, Little Ripening Moon, Lotus Flower Moon, Meadow Moon, Manzanita Ripens Moon, Midsummer Moon, Middle Moon, Middle of Summer Moon, Moon of Claiming, Moon of the Young Corn, Moon of Fledgling Hawk, Moon of Much Ripening, Moon of the Home Dance, Moon of the Middle Summer, Moon of Ripeness, Moon When Cherries Are Ripe, Moon When the Buffalo Bellow, Moon When People Move Camp Together, Moon When Limbs of Are Trees Broken by Fruit, Moon When Squash Are Ripe and Indian Beans Begin to Be Edible, Moon When Ducks Begin to Malt, Mountain Clover Moon, Peaches Moon, Raspberry Moon, Red Berries Moon, Red Blooming Lilies Moon, Return from Harvest Moon, Ripe Corn Moon, Ripening Moon, Rose Moon, Salmon Go up the Rivers in a Group Moon, Seventh Moon, Smokey Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Summer Moon, Sun House Moon, Thunder Moon, Warming Sun Moon, Water Lily Moon, Wattle Moon, Wort Moon
As full moon names go, I am rather fond of Blessing Moon, Blackberry Moon and Meadow Moon.