Lunar Happenings

comments (0) January 31st, 2018

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Full, Old, Super, Blood, Blue Moon on this last day of January. Click To Enlarge

Full, Old, Super, Blood, Blue Moon on this last day of January.

Photo: susan belsinger

What the heck is a Super Blue Blood Moon?

The moon was officially full this morning at 8:27 am EST. This is a particularly eventful full moon in that it is the second one this month, so called a blue moon, since we already had a full moon on the first of January. (Blue moon is the second full moon in the same calendar month).

This fairly rare event of a blue moon was featured in the following song, which has been recorded by many artists, made famous by Mel Tourme, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and the Marcels (who did the do-wop rocknroll version) to name a few.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue Moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper, 'Please adore me'
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold

--music by Richard Rodgers, words by Lorenz Hart, 1934
The Old Farmer's Almanac names it a Full Old Moon and it is the only lunar eclipse happening in North America this year, which was visible to those living west of the Mississippi in the U.S. and Western Canada before dawn this morning.

According to the NASA website, "the January 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it's the third in a series of "supermoons," when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It's also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a "blue moon." The super blue moon will pass through Earth's shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "blood moon."

We will see our full moon in Leo rise about 5:19 pm this evening EST and it will shine brightly until it sets at 6:58 am. And while we are on the subject of rising and setting--our days are getting longer (hooray!) and today, this last day of January our daylength is 9 hours and 58 minutes--and tomorrow it will be 10 hours (happy February!). By the end of February days will be 11 hours and 12 minutes; gardeners rejoice!

I have blogged before about planting by the moon, which is something I practice whenever possible. The Llewellyn Moon Sign book is a handy guide for this. With a full moon today, the moon will now begin to wane and get smaller so that in about two weeks we will have a new moon (the dark of the moon) and then the moon will begin to wax and grow large again.

During this waning period, is a good time to finish perusing your seed catalogs and place your orders. Then hopefully your seeds will arrive in time for the new moon and the two weeks following, so that you can sow some of those seeds during the waxing moon in February. The general rule of thumb is to plant aboveground crops during a waxing moon (growing upward plants) and plant root crops, rhizomes, bulbs and perennials during the waning moon (growing smaller moon for underground roots).

Here is a good article on planting by the moon phases by Chris McLauglin, fellow vegetablegardener contributor:

So let us gardeners here on Earth celebrate the moon today--get outside for a good view and some fresh air--and perhaps give a howl or two!

I leave you with a pleasant listening experience on this blue moon day:

After you try it, show it off to other members in the
gardener's gallery.
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posted in: Planting by the Moon, lunar happenings, blue moon, supermoon, blood moon