Monday, July 10, 2017

The Thunder Moon of July

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. The Summer Solstice has passed and daylight hours north of the equator are already waning.  It is still summer by any definition we can come up with, and it's a festive time - skies (hopefully) vividly blue and flooded with sunshine by day, deep violet and star spangled by night. This is turning out to be a wet summer, and every smudge of azure, cobalt or cerulean over our heads is something to crow about.

Images captured on full moon nights sometimes 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, to sky sailing galleons, airborne dragon boats and hot air balloons.  Being out under a summer moon conveys a sense of wonder, grandeur and connection with the universe that is hard to describe in words - 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 long ago, I scribbled a note to myself, a sticky mauve reminder to remember Carl Sagan's words and the star stuff within.  They are comforting on days when health concerns seize the upper hand and leave me feeling somewhat fragile, crotchety and despondent.  The other uplifting thing to do (of course) is to mount a macro lens on the camera, grab notebook and pencil and go out to the woods. Cassie and Spencer are still with us in spirit, but now it is Beau who is rambling along with us and learning to love the Two Hundred Acre Wood.

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, Mead 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 looming 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, Warming Sun Moon, Water Lily Moon, Wattle Moon, Wort Moon.

As names go, I am fond of Blessing Moon, Blackberry Moon and Meadow Moon, but with all the storms this summer, the name Thunder Moon says it best.


Barbara Rogers said...

Our lunar times have changed, as we women grow older and no longer flow with the tides. Now I mark new and old moons as maybe an old farmer would, thinking of planting, fertilizing, harvesting times. She does still inspire!

Mystic Meandering said...

I am in a "Moon of Claiming" frame of mind this season :) or maybe that's re-claiming... :)
Love the Sagan quote...

sarah said...

Although we are in the opposite season to you, Thunder Moon is a good name for our month here too :-) I wish you well.

SQ. said...

Each full moon I see you with camera, heading to where the wild things go so that we may see what you see.
Thank you for each moon image you have blessed me with all these years.