Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Hunter's Moon of October

The Hunter's Moon of October is the first autumn moon to seem cold, or at least it did last evening as I shivered outside by the fence with camera in hand.

When this full moon arrives to brighten the night, daylight hours are waning rapidly. The hay is in, and granaries are filled to bursting with summer's yield. Our larders and freezers are full, and the beasties of farm and paddock are tucked comfortably into their warm barns for the winter. Great waves of geese pass to and fro over rooftops nightly, moving joyously between stubble fields and the wide river. There are migrating loons and cormorants in that river now, and the first diving ducks (scaup and goldeneye) have already arrived from the frozen north lands. The deer rut is not far off, and the annual antler dance has already begun, young whitetail bucks shaking their racks at each other and posturing aggressively in a bid for dominance and preferential attention during the mating season. The deer hunting season approaches.

Last night was cold, but it was velvety and sublime too. Somewhere out beyond my hill in the darkness, there were wolves singing their hearts out to the round moon above, and from time to time, I put down my camera, pointed my own nose at the stars and joined their chorus (was rather off key though). October's moon is melancholy, but there is something truly wild and elemental about it - it makes a crone feel like singing along with the wolves and going for a moonlight run with them later too. We also know this moon as the:

Acorns Falling Moon, Big Wind Moon, Blackberry Moon, Blood Moon, Chestnut Moon, Chrysanthemum Moon, Corn Ripe Moon, Drying Grass Moon, Eleventh Moon, Falling Leaves Moon, Gathering Food Moon, Halloween Moon, Hallows Moon, Harvest Moon, Ivy Moon, Joins Both Sides Moon, Kindly Moon, Leaf Dance Moon, Leaf Fall Moon, Leaves Change Color Moon, Maple Moon, Michaelmas Daisy Moon, Middle Finger Moon, Moon of Acorn Gathering, Moon of Changing Seasons, Moon of Falling Leaves, Moon of Frozen Grass, Moon of Harvesting, Moon of Long Hair, Moon of Loons’ Farewell, Moon of Poverty, Moon of the First Frost, Moon That Turns the Leaves White, Moon the Birds Fly South, Moon When Deer Rut, Moon When Quilling and Beading Is Done, Moon When the Water Begins to Freeze on the Edge of the Streams, Moon When the Geese Leave, Moon When the Corn Is Taken in, Moon When They Store Food in Caches, Nut Moon, Raking Moon, Samhain Moon, Shedding Moon, Small Trees Freeze Moon, Song Moon, Squirrels Gathering Moon, Striped Gopher Looks Back Moon, Strong Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Travel in Canoes Moon, Trees Felled by Fire at Butt Moon, Trout Moon, Turkey Moon, Vintage Moon, White Frost on Grass and Ground Moon, Wilted Moon, Winter Coming Moon.

As names go, I am rather fond of Kindly Moon, Song Moon and Leaf Dance Moon.


Carolyn H said...

Isn't it wonderful all the names for the moons? I think my favorite is Moon of Loons Farewell, but Winter Coming Moon and Wilted Moon are pretty evocative too. Thanks for the list!

Carolyn H.

Loren said...

Thanks for the picture.

I saw the moon while driving my wife to the airport at 5:30 am and wished I'd had my camera with me.

Turns out I didn't need it, did I?

Jo said...

Oh how I love the moon and that photo captures all its magic.

Val said...

Ive just seen the Hunters Moon rising behind a dark wood deep in the Dorset countryside, in an ancient valley. Magical!

Anonymous said...

Dear Cate,
What a gorgeous picture! It is perfect. The moon so bright, and the weathervane so still to its right up on the roof top!
You truly are amazing.

Endment said...

As always your moon shots leave me breathless

Audrey said...

Beautiful photo. Beautiful words.

Rowan said...

This is a beautiful and inspiring post, both words and photograph. Hunter's Moon is still my favourite name but I like Blackberry Moon and Winter Coming Moon as well.