The full moon tonight in the Central and Eastern time zones is the Harvest Moon, not the Hunter’s Moon. On the west coast of the United States, the full moon occurred just before midnight on October 3, last night. That little tidbit has to do with the occurrence of first full moon following the Sept. autumnal equinox. So?
Here is a gorgeous photo taken of the 2009 Harvest Moon last night in Tijeras, New Mexico, by Becky Ramotowski, who posted it (along with several others) on Spaceweather.com at http://www.spaceweather.com/. The moon reaches full stage for me at 1:10 a.m. tonight.
The “so what?” has to do with Time and what means to me these days. Over the international dateline, it’s already tomorrow and I wonder when they saw the Harvest Moon. It’s weird. It requires math, I think.
But here’s why it matters to me. There will not be a true Harvest Moon again until 2017 and then 2020, and it’s cloudy and rainy here, so my granddaughter and I won’t be able to see this year's. (See “The Worm Moon,” Sept. 6, in the Grandparents category.)
The years to come are no longer a given. Depending on what life has in store, in 2017 I’ll be 74 and Joanna Leigh will be 10-1/2. And 2020 promises to be an especially good Moon Year, hosting a Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon, and Blue Moon – all in October.
The Difference Between the Harvest Moon and the Hunter's Moon
More often the Harvest Moon is the full moon in September and the Hunter's Moon is the full moon in October. The Hunter's Moon is the full moon that follows after the Harvest Moon; therefore the Hunter's Moon can occur in early November. So an October full Moon is either the Harvest Moon or the Hunter's Moon. In 2020, the Harvest/Hunter’s Moon will appear on Oct. 1; the second full Moon of the month – a Blue Moon -- will appear on Oct. 31.
Time is often compared to a river, constantly flowing, constantly changing. I guess I’m feeling like Time has become a flooded, raging river, moving too fast and dangerously.
So, I will catch all the special natural phenomena I can and hope I don’t fall into the raging river too soon.