Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Harvest Moon of September

September's moon is my favorite moon in the whole turning year - it is also (above all others), the one I cannot describe or take an adequate photo of, no matter how extensive my preparations. Every year, I potter off to a good vantage point, set up camera and tripod, check all relevant settings and wait patiently. The moon rises over the trees (sometimes a rooftop), and I stand there in the darkness like an ecstatic fool with my eyes wide open, a heart full of wonder and a paucity of words.

Last year, I described the situation as a cosmic joke, the business of this creaky elderwoman standing out under the trees and taking picture after picture of Lady Moon, but never a good one. Well, here we are again, another glorious Harvest Moon gone by and another mediocre image captured and shared. I am reminded of the Zen tale in which a wise monk on his deathbed was asked to describe his life, and he exclaimed with a smile, "just one mistake after another..."

Whether or not I managed to capture Lady Moon adequately last evening does not matter a fig or a hoot in the greater scheme of things, and I should be content with that. She rose into the heavens like a great golden cosmic lantern, and I was there in the darkness to witness that perfect rising. As I packed up my stuff later and made ready to depart homeward, I thought that such beauty deserved a grand ecstatic gesture of some kind, a chant or a benediction - certainly more than my simple deep bow.

We also know this moon as the:

Acorn Bread Moon , Acorns Gathered Moon, All Ripe Moon, Aster Moon, Autumn Moon, Barley Moon, Between Harvest & Eating Indian Corn Moon, Black Calf Moon, Calf Grows Hair Moon, Chrysjavascript:void(0)anthemum 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 the First Frost, Moon of Full Harvest, Moon of Much Freshness, Moon When the Leaves Fall off, 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.


Iktomi said...

i think your picture is very good... but of course no one can capture the real physical experience with a simple photograph... so don't beat yourself up about it. :)

Anonymous said... says (on Sept.3) that the Full Moon this September is too many days from the Autumn Equinox to be the Harvest Moon, so you have another chance in October. :-)
Thank you so much for your wonderful website; I check it every day and it is always a blessing.
Nairn Galvin
in southern Ontario

Still thinking said...

Cate, I like the photo. These days I see the moon from my lounge room window when I rise early. I saw this moon in all its beauty and goldness the other night (or early morn).

How lovely Nature is that she binds people the world over through this kind of sharing!

Anonymous said...

this is absolutely gorgeous....