Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Equinox!!!

I'm so desperate for fall I'm ignoring the warm weather outside and celebrating the first day of Autumn (technically it's at 10:09 pm CDT) time tonight.

I'm so ready for sweaters and making chili and watching falling leaves.

Sounds kind of trite, but I was at the grocery store last weekend and had already decided I was going to make my first batch of chili since last winter. As I'm standing in the bean aisle, debating the merits and prices of each choice, I turn to Handsome and say, "I think it's still too hot to make chili,"

He agreed and we dejectedly and move on to find Darling's apple sauce....


I'm in the mood, so here's some fun equinox facts I found over at TechJackal (Much better explanations over there):

~ The spring and autumn equinoxes, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west

~ The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

~ On the Northern Hemisphere’s autumnal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness.

~ On the same day, a person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight.
Some good stuff over at EarthSky:
~ Notice the arc of the sun across the sky each day. You’ll find it’s shifting toward the south. Birds and butterflies are migrating southward, too, along with the path of the sun.

~ At the equinoxes, the sun appears overhead at noon as seen from Earth’s equator

~ On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. But near the time of the autumnal equinox, the moon rises only about 30 minutes later each day. Why? The reason is that the ecliptic – or path of the sun, moon and planets – makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon during the autumn months. The narrow angle of the ecliptic in on autumn evenings results in a shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moonrises around the time of the autumn full moons.

~ Go outside around sunset or sunrise and notice the location of the sun on the horizon with respect to familiar landmarks. If you do this, you’ll be able to use those landmarks to find those cardinal directions in the weeks and months ahead, long after Earth has moved on in its orbit around the sun, carrying the sunrise and sunset points southward.
Something else that's interesting this week is the fact that tomorrow is a full moon, or the Harvest Moon, since it's the closest to the equinox. I thought it was interesting that each full moon of the year has it's own name.

According to The Farmer's Almanac, here are the monthly moons:

• Full Wolf Moon – January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

• Full Snow Moon – February Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

• Full Worm Moon – March As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

• Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

• Full Flower Moon – May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

• Full Strawberry Moon – June This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

• The Full Buck Moon – July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

• Full Sturgeon Moon – August The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

• Full Corn Moon – September This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon.

• Full Harvest Moon – October This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.

• Full Beaver Moon – November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

• The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

As interesting and as exciting as all that may be, this is still what I want to make:

Soon enough I'll be bitching about winter, but in the meantime, think nice cool thoughts for me, with a hint of spicy chili!


Hyperblogal said...

Adopt me .... adopt me......

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