No doubt about it, September's moon is my favorite in the whole turning year... It is also (above all others), the one I can't describe or take a good photo of, no matter how extensive my preparations and careful my efforts.
Every year, I potter off to a good vantage point, set up camera, telescope and tripod, check my settings and wait patiently. The lunar lady rises, and I stand underneath, breathless and grasping a scant handful of words to describe the most beautiful moon of the year. Watching this month's full moon is a personal, seasonal rite, and if I had to brew up a name of my own for it, the name would be "Hallelujah Moon".
It's a cosmic joke of sorts (albeit a small one), the business of this creaky female standing out in the darkness and taking photo after photo of the full moon but never a good one. Here we are again, another glorious Harvest Moon has just gone by, and another folder of mediocre images has been captured. It brings to mind the old Zen tale in which a monk on his deathbed was asked to describe his mindful life, and he replied blithely, "just one mistake after another..."
Last night, Lady Moon rose golden as a harvest moon should, and then she flushed rose red in full lunar eclipse. Sun, earth and moon were lined up in almost a perfect straight line with the sun behind us and throwing earth's shadow across the moon. It was the last super moon of the year and as a full glorious lunar eclipse, also sometimes called a "blood moon".
I was outside with my camera stuff and looking forward to capturing the red moon, but as the eclipse began, clouds rolled in, almost completely obscuring the event. Now and again, there was a tantalizing view for a few seconds, and that was it. That is quite all right, and whether I captured either moon or eclipse doesn't matter - it was being there that mattered, our little tribe being out together under the stars and looking up. The moon climbed into the night like a vast glowing lantern, and Himself, Spencer and I were there together, paw in paw and watching the whole thing. As we packed up our stuff later, we couldn't help thinking that such magnificence deserved a gesture of some kind, a chorus, a chant or a benediction - something grander and more luminous than our bows and sighs of contentment.
We also know this moon as the: Acorn Bread Moon, Acorns Gathered Moon, All Ripe Moon, Aster Moon, Autumn Moon, Barley Moon, Between Harvest Moon, Blood Berry Moon, Eating Indian Corn Moon, Black Calf Moon, Calf Grows Hair Moon, Chrysanthemum Moon, Corn Moon, Corn Maker Moon, Dancing Moon, Deer Paw the Earth Moon, Dog Salmon Return to Earth Moon, Elderberry Moon, Drying Grass Moon, Fruit Moon, Hay Cutting Moon, Her Acorns Moon, Holy Moon, Hulling Corn Moon, Index-finger Moon, Leaf Fall Moon, Leaf Yellow Moon, Leaves Changing Color Moon, Little Chestnut Moon, Maize Moon, Mallow Blossom Moon, Moon of Falling Leaves, Moon of First Frost, Moon of Full Harvest, Moon of Much Freshness, Moon When the Leaves Fall, Moon of Plenty, Moon When the Corn Is Taken in, Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet, Moon When Deer Paw the Earth, Moon When Calves Grow Hair, Moon When Everything Ripens and Corn Is Harvested, Moose Moon, Morning Glory Moon, Mulberry Moon, Nut Moon, Papaw Moon, Rice Moon, Rudbeckia Moon, Seed Moon, Shining Leaf Moon, Silky Oak Moon, Singing Moon, Soaproot Dug For Fish Poison Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Wavy or Snow Goose Moon, Wine Moon, Wood Moon, Yellow Leaf Moon.