Harvest Moon










Image Credit: Dan Bush of Missouri Skies

Last month I mentioned the blue moon. This month, tonight as a matter of fact, is the harvest moon. Back before the days of the electric light farmers used the moon to lengthen the amount of time they had to bring in crops from the field during the shortening days. Every bit of food was essential to survival and the full moon at this time of year added additional light by which they could work in the fields. The alignment of the earth and moon at this time of year added another benefit. Usually the moon rises about 50 minutes later each night during most of the year. At this time of year, for only a few days, the full moon, or nearly full, moon rises approximately the same time each night. This gave the farmers back then a window of time in which they could work, weather permitting.

Once all of the crops were in, and it took quite a bit of time to harvest everything needed to survive a harsh cold winter, the following month’s full moon was called the hunter’s moon. In many places in late October snow would be covering the ground. A light, bright snowfall and a full moon was all a hunter needed to stock the pantry with game, probably venison. With the setting in of colder weather it would last longer as well.

Life was hard back then and this time of year brought many other concerns other than blog posts or a difficult individual at work. This time of year brought on thoughts of how one was going to survive the coming winter. Was enough wood cut? Were the crops ample enough? Could hunting and trapping trails continue to supply what was needed to survive a potentially brutal winter? Would the livestock survive and was there enough feed for them as well? It was a far different time and people back then took advantage of every possible break they could get because it might make the difference between survival and starvation. The Harvest and Hunter’s moon were taken full advantage of.

Hope your Saturday was not spent hunting for food.  Here are today’s pictures:


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