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Posts Tagged ‘moon’

Canada Day began this morning with a clear moon in a sky filled with blue.  By the time I reached Cow Bay Road, the sun was already rising over Lawrencetown. 

Once I arrived at Rainbow Haven, grey clouds were beginning to crowd out some of the blue sky.  Along with the water, they reflected the dawn beautifully.

The tide was very low, so the blue mussel bed on the beach was exposed.  From a distance, the bed looks like just a large patch of gravel on the sand, but is actually teaming with life.

Crabs, barnacles, periwinkles, dogwhelks, sea stars, blue mussels and moon snails all reside there.  They hide between and beneath the smoothly worn stones, while lying in wait for their prey or to avoid becoming prey themselves.  Rock crabs are especially talented at wedging themselves in the crevices with only their claws exposed.

Several small sea stars were present in the tidepools this morning.  They seem to be more common this year, both here and farther back in the marsh.   These purple starfish prey on the blue mussels by prying them open and inserting their stomachs inside the shells in order to feast on the contents directly.  Who would suspect these elegant creatures to have such gruesome feeding habits?

Beautiful weather on Canada Day always attracts crowds of sun seekers to Rainbow Haven beach.  Although the afternoon sun does put a sparkle on the sand and water, seeing the early morning sun at the shore puts a sparkle on my whole day. 

Happy Canada Day!

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One of the most enchanting of nights is that of the blue moon… so began a composition I wrote back in elementary school almost 40 years ago.  Somewhere I had read that if you made a wish while gazing at a blue moon it would come true.  From a wisher’s perspective, it would be like looking at a night sky full of falling stars.

I was still a child when I saw my first blue moon.  It was visibly blue and I made a wish.  It was a Friday night and I was in the backyard with my grandparents who were raking and burning grass.

Visibly blue moons are caused by smoke or dust particles in the air, not an entirely uncommon phenomenon in the mining and pulp and paper communities of Northerm Ontario where I grew up.  Perhaps just the smoke from the burning grass was the factor that made the moon blue.  I didn’t question why it was blue.  It simply was.  And it was magical.  I made my wish… I hadn’t seen some members of my family for some time and I wished for their presence.  Less than an hour later, they arrived, totally unexpected by my grandparents.  I was awestruck.

The realization of my wish awakened my senses to everything in my surroundings.  The colour of the sky, the feel of the evening air and the smell of the burning grass are all ingrained in my memory.

When I was a teenager I tried to draw a blue moon.  It’s shown above, as seen in my mind’s eye at the time.  I was captivated by their mystery.  Unfortunately, I never saw one again.  Or at least I didn’t think I had.

Recently I learned that blue moon is the name given to the second full moon that occurs in a calendar month.  This event usually only takes place once every three years or so.

This New Year’s Eve we’ll have the first such blue moon since May 31, 2007.  The next one won’t occur until August 31, 2012.

The Farmers Almanac has a different formula for calculating the occurence of blue moons, one that involves calling a moon blue if it’s the fourth full moon to occur within a season.  For a thorough explanation you can visit Wikipedia’s entry on Blue Moons.

The way I see it, since blue moons only occur once in a blue moon, it’s best to leave calculations to the astronomers and the farmers at the almanac and focus instead on making the most of the wishing aspect of this event.

Melting Snowman Wishing for Colder Days Ahead

I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred,
I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 2018, amazingly, two blue moons will occur: one in January and one in March. It will definitely be a year for making wishes.

Page updated July 31st 2015.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2015

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For ages humans have wondered about the effects of a full moon on the planet.  If tides are at their highest (and lowest) during this phase, wouldn’t anything that has a high water content, such as plant and animal life, be affected too?

Supposedly, timber isn’t harvested in tropical rainforests during a full moon as sap rises in the trees at that time.  This phenomena attracts death-watch beetles, insects known to destroy timber.  Does sap rise in the trees here too during a full moon?

There are nights when the wolves are silent, and only the moon howls.

~ George Carlin

Since a full moon is ten times brighter than a crescent moon, one would assume that nocturnal wildlife has more light with which to forage and hunt during the night hours.  However, raccoon hunters often find their prey less active on full moon nights and some deer hunters believe that deer are actually more active at noon during a full moon.  Despite all the research that’s been done, animal and human activity during this moon phase is still a mystery.

The two photos above were taken at 6 am this morning while the photo below was taken an hour later, half an hour before sunrise.  It looks more like the sun than the moon is peeking out from behind the trees. 

Full moons occur every 29.5 days and the next one will be on New Year’s Eve.  Since it will be the second full moon of the calendar month, it will be what’s known as a ‘blue moon,’ an event that occurs, on average, once every three years.

When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the creator.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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