Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Wolf Moon of January

In the depths of winter, one can almost reach out and touch the rising moon.  January's full moon rising over the bare and whiskery trees along our road is simply gorgeous, but the beauty is a gelid one with ice, deep snow, wind and hunger in every note of its song.  Only a few months ago, I photographed waves of departing geese silhouetted against the rising moon right here, and although the great birds are long gone, their parting songs remained with me last evening.

We stoke up our fireplaces and wood stoves at this time of year. We stay close by our hearths, brew endless pots of tea and countless cauldrons of soup, count the sticks of firewood piled in our summer kitchens (what else does one do with a summer kitchen in January anyway?) and along our verandas, silently calculating how long the supply will hold out this year. We wrap up in every warm garment we possess and take toboggan loads of nosh into the forest for birds, red squirrels and deer. We watch for the the first signs that daylight hours are increasing, measuring with our eyes the length of the long sharp blue shadows falling across the trail into the deep woods

Before nightfall last evening, our eastern timber wolves raised their voices in song, and the pack of coyotes on the other side of the Two Hundred Wood sang a magnificent harmony, the two wild and elemental choruses rising and falling like waves across the snow. It was icy cold out there, but it was magical, and as I waited for Lady Moon to appear, I remembered that in several weeks, the Great Horned Owls will be nesting in our woods again. A few weeks after that, the maple syrup season will (hopefully) be starting.
We also know this moon as the After Yule Moon, Big Cold Moon, Buckeyes Ripe Moon, Carnation Moon, Center Moon, Ceremonial Initiate Moon, Cold Moon, Cooking Moon, Turning Moon, Earth Renewal Moon, First Moon, Frost in the Tepee Moon, Frozen Ground Moon, Great Moon, Great Spirit Moon, Greetings Maker Moon, Her Cold Moon, Hibiscus Moon, Holiday Moon, Ice Moon, Lakes Frozen Moon, Little Winter Moon, Long Moon, Man Moon, Midwinter Moon, Moon After Yule, Moon of Darkness, Moon of Flying Ants, Moon of Life at It's Height, Moon of Strong Cold, Moon of the Bear, Moon of the Child, Moon of Whirling Snow, Moon When Animals Lose Their Fat, Moon When Limbs of Trees Are Broken by Snow, Moon When Snow Drifts into Tipis, Moon When the Snow Blows like Spirits in the Wind, Moon When the Sun Has Traveled South, Moon When the Old Fellow Spreads the Brush , Moon When Wolves Run Together, Ninene Moon, No Snow in Trails Moon, Old Moon, Pine Moon, Plum Blossom Moon, Quiet Moon, Rivros Moon, Rowan Moon, Severe Moon, Snow Blindness Moon, Snow Moon, Snow Thaws Moon, Snowdrop Moon, Snowy Path Moon, Strong Cold Moon, Sun Has Not Strength to Thaw Moon, Thumb Moon, Trail Squint Moon, Two Trails Moon, Weight Loss Moon, Whirling Wind Moon, White Waking Moon, Winter Moon, Winter's Younger Brother Moon

A lifelong lover of wolves, I like the name "Wolf Moon", but I am also fond of "Great Spirit Moon" and "Earth Renewal Moon".


Endment said...

At this moment the same moon is setting over the Catskills... I have wrapped in warm quilts and watch from my window as light fills my room -

What beauty you have captured with your camera and pen ...Thank you

Cheryl said...

Snow and cold and timber wolves and geese and firewood and much beauty in a single post.

I only found out about the different names for the month's moons recently, and then I got obsessed. There is a poet named Ruth Padel who wrote a series of poems around the different moons; I thought you might like to read them. This one is September's poem:

September: Blood Moon, Wine Moon

Grape-cluster. Sacrifice. Pigs killed for winter
provision. Adults and cubs
look the same now: sorrelflame, split
conker, goldfish, marmalade; a splinter
of sanguine chrysanthemum,
tangerine sparkler-head, lit.

You meet him, your late summer fox, as you turn
off the lights, zipping back from a night with your girl,
and watch St Pancras' pinnacles
stamp phosphorous ribbons on a glory sky
of wine-dark lily, dawnglow apricot.

Here he is, sniffing. Those scenting-cells
wind you exactly. No mange, and no moult.
Parade of white shirtfront. A flame, horizontal,
with ears (one back, and one forward);
gilt eyes under fox-frown. And not - till
you brake, stop the engine - afraid.

Rain Trueax said...

I love your moon photos. The wolf moon was very powerful here even though it had to come through fog to show itself.

Donal Finn said...

These days i love sitting in front of my wood stove with a coffee and a movie. Your description is really good about different moons but that wolf thing is really creepy.