Monday, June 28, 2010

Full moons. Did You Know. . . ?

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.


  1. thanks for the lunar lore! I'm about to watch wolfman tonight. good timing!

  2. OOh Cynthia I love all this info about this the moon. All I have ever known is that causes shane people to loose it and pregnant woman go into labor. I worked at overlook hsp in Summit and every time there was full moon we had a full maternity ward too he he he he he! This is wonderful. Thanks so much for coming by. I hope you are staying cool and inspired with all this hot weather. Hugs

  3. Hey Terry Lynn! Good timing, indeed. How'd you like the movie? I liked it a lot. Yeah, the werewolf thing adds a whole other element to the full moon discussion, doesn't it? : )

    V, I never realized that a full moon nudges women into labor!
    And I'm trying to stay cool and inspired, but it's not all that easy these days, is it? Hope you're staying cool and enjoying summer so far!

    Thanks for the comments, ladies!!! : )

  4. My older son used to walk and talk in his sleep and had full-fledged night terrors on occasion. Our pediatrician ( who I loved and I swear was not a quack) wanted us to chart his episodes and see if they mirrored the lunar cycle in any way. By then, my son was outgrowing them, so we never will know if they were in any way related.

  5. That's really interesting! Although walking and talking while sleeping and night terrors are all frightening (especially for a parent). I tend to think that the lunar cycles do have an effect on us, for better or for worse. Apparently your pediatrician did, too. Thanks for commenting! : )

  6. Our strawberries tripled this year ... hooray! We even have enough to share with the birds (usually they take the lot and we're left w/ slim pikcin's)

  7. Triple strawberries??? I'm envious, Tess! Enjoy! : )