Thursday, May 27, 2010

Full flower moon

It will surprise no regular reader of this blog that I am a big big fan of the the Old Farmer's Almanac.  I like the planting schedules for vegetables I do not plant, I like the stories about flowers that will not grow in this climate, I like the tide charts & the folklore & of course, I like the names of things.  Tonight, for everyone who lives an almanac-free life, is a full moon.  & because it is the full moon in May, it is the Full Flower Moon.

The name "flower moon" is a translation of the Native American name to English.  The English would have called this the Milk Moon.  Many other cultures have names for the moons, but we don't.  Our months are centered on paydays, week-ends, that sort of the thing.  The moon is not so obviously important as it has been.

This year, the Full Flower Moon is the last full moon before the summer solstice.  June's full moon (the Strawberry Moon) occurs just after, so it will still be the shortest full moon of the year, but this Full Flower Moon will also be brief.  Here there will be less than 11 hours of darkness & that darkness will hardly be dark.

We live on a street with no streetlights (we live on a street with no street, if you want to be precise) so I need to watch for full moons carefully.  These are the nights the dogs will be able to see clearly all the nighttime prowlers, if I do not remember to close the curtains.  Given the options, dog will stay awake all night barking at possum & raccoons & rabbits; a picture window in a country house is a dog's big screen television.

This full moon, when I am woken by the dogs, I will be able to look out & see the white confederate jasmine, in full bloom for several weeks now.  The small white flowers will look like stars trapped on the vine, more clearly visible than the stars in the sky.  If I left the house & walked out to the horses, larger white, still star-shaped flowers would warn me to keep away:  the tread-softly is abundant this year thanks to the late freeze & the timely rain.  Finally, if I wanted to put on real clothes & walk across the former farm to the west, I could see the large white platters of the native morning glory, aptly named Moon Flower.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this post. I, too, love the Old Farmer's Almanac and the names of the moons.