Harvest Moon #ThursdayThoughts

Hey, everyone. Those who have followed by blog over the years probably know I have an affection for full moons. I’ve tried, in vain, to capture the perfect “moon shot” with my digital camera. Sadly, I don’t have a strong enough lens to do it justice, but I still try.

I think the fascination with the night skies is a family thing. My brother once hiked through Grand Canyon by the light of the full August moon.

One of my attempts at capturing the Harvest Moon. Taken several years ago.

This weekend is the Harvest Moon, or the full moon occurring closest to the autumn equinox. It can happen in either September or October, depending on the lunar cycle. The Full Harvest Moon rises soon after sunset, providing plenty of bright light for farmers to harvest their crops.

Native Americans have names for each of the full moons. These names can vary, depending upon the location of the tribe. For instance, those in the Pacific Northwest often refer to the full July moon as the Salmon Moon, while other tribes call it the Buck Moon or Thunder Moon.

The September full moon is well-known for its luminosity and brilliance. Some Native American tribes referred to it as the “Big Moon.”

Full moons have played a significant role in the development of my stories. Many years before I penned the first words of Unseen Motives, I stood on my deck one evening and watched the full September moon rise. I thought, “This is the last moon of summer.”

An idea sprang to mind, so I went inside and began jotting it down. A woman lives with her husband on a lake. She’s outside one night and sees something strange on the opposite shore.

While there is little that remains of my original idea, that was the birth of my first novel. Don’t be surprised if full moons play a role in future works.

But this weekend, weather permitting, I’ll go outside to watch the rising of the Harvest Moon. I may even take a few photos.

And now, I’ll leave you with a video by Neil Young.

24 thoughts on “Harvest Moon #ThursdayThoughts

      1. I have a nice digital Nikon camera that my husband got for me. He even got me the zoom lens. But it is so much easier to use the phone instead of getting out the camera and swapping the lens.


      2. I also have a nice Nikon digital. My lens is a 200mm zoom – 300 would be better. I got the camera out for the first time in two years when we took our day trip in August. I took it to the beach in 2017 but only used my iPhone. Didn’t even take it on vacation last year.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. We have the love of the moon in common. I keep trying to get that perfect moon shot, too. I’m excited it will start on Friday the 13th. There is somethimg magical about a night sky that needs to be written about.

    I like your song choice. Happy harvest moon viewing, Joan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always loved the night sky–yet another thing we have in common. And moons.

    When i was a teen I had a telescope and would go outside and sketch images of the lunar landscape in a notebook.

    Each October I look forward to the full moon. We have a good view of it as it rises, and I always think of it as the fullest, most vivid orange moon of the year as it comes off the horizon. I also remember swimming at night, the first year we had our pool, and looking up at a full moon through the branches of a backyard tree. It was stunning.

    Love the song. Love the moon. Love the post, Joan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love gazing up at the skies and learning about the constellations and such. Swimming by moonlight sounds lovely. I also had a telescope but I would never try to sketch anything (drawing just doesn’t come naturally to me). John and I used to go to “Star Parties” at the local planetarium. They had powerful telescopes and we were able to see Jupiter and Saturn. Really neat seeing the ringed planet.

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        1. I had not thought of using that in a book. Great idea! I’ve also been to Tucson, Arizona for a user symposium with a software product we use at work. The first time they had people from the University of Arizona with telescopes. I was able to see Saturn a second time. Really cool!

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          1. It sounds wonderful! I’ve always heard the star gazing in Arizona is amazing. I’ve been to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Sedona but only saw the heavens with the naked eye.

            And yes, you MUST use a Star Party in a book.

            One of old short stories was centered around a party with a celestial theme. I dreamed up some cool decorations for it, but there was no star gazing involved. I think that would be so unique!

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  3. Thanks for sharing such interesting moon tidbits! I didn’t even realize the Harvest Moon was this weekend, so I’m going to make a point to go outside and take a look. Hope the night will be clear, so I can get the best view.

    The moon has never (so far) inspired one of my books, but I do have an opening scene in Swamp Ghosts that refers to a gibbous moon, which I think I’ve seen you mention, too. Should have known you were a moon lover then. 😀

    A fun Thursday Thoughts post, Joan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I love looking at the moon and the night skies. A few years ago, I did a post each month about the names of the moons. I also included other interesting things about each month, famous birthdays, etc. I had always heard of the Harvest Moon but I didn’t know until recent years about the Native American names for the other ones. I also wrote a short story called “The Blue Moon Murders.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very cool. I’ve heard of the harvest moon, a gibbous moon, a blue moon, and a blood moon. I think that’s it. I always love to learn new things, and this post was full of them! 🙂 Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

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