Did you notice the full moon this past weekend? I love full moons. Did you know that the full moon in June is called the Strawberry Moon? This is because, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, June is the month of the strawberry. That works. And yum, by the way.
This year’s Strawberry Moon included a partial lunar eclipse, meaning that half of it was obscured as it crossed through the southern portion of the Earth’s shadow. Due to funky positioning, people on or near the Pacific Ocean had a better view of this than those of us closer to the Atlantic Ocean. But at least we had strawberries. Yum.
Anyway, this inspired me to share more lunar vocabulary with you. And yes, I know that schools are out, so perhaps a vocabulary lesson isn’t appropriate. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I find word associations and vocabulary sort of fascinating. So here goes:
The words moon and month share a Germanic base. And, of course, the cycle of the moon resets itself every 29.5 days, give or take. Of course that equals a month. Ah-ha.
A new moon is known as a dark moon because it occurs when the moon’s orbit crosses between the Earth and the sun. When this takes place, the moon is not visible to those of us on Earth. Thus, a dark moon.
Have you heard the phrase “once in a blue moon”? Did you know that a blue moon is the third full moon in a three-month period that has four full moons? Since this extra moon business only happens every two to three years, these moons are rare (thus the “once in a blue moon” phrase). The next blue moon will show up in August of 2012. Mark your calendars, kids.
Finally, the word lunatic comes from the Latin word for moon--luna. And loony was once interchangeable with luny. Kind of a close relationship to lunacy, don’t you think? And let’s not forget that spotted, duck-like bird with the demented voice—the loon. You can probably guess where I’m going with this. Folklore claims that full moons tend to make people go a bit batty or loony. Which may explain this post.