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MOONLIGHT PADDLES ON CAT POINT CREEK
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the tradition of naming moons is rich in history. We use full moon names that were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons— usually from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the same areas.
MAY 17 FLOWER MOON
Depending on the tribe, May’s full moon was called the Full Flower Moon as well as Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon. The May full moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.
JUN 17 STRAWBERRY MOON
The June Full Moon is called the Full Strawberry Moon. The Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather the ripening fruit of wild strawberries. It has also been known as the Honey Moon, Mead Moon, and the Full Rose Moon in Europe.
JUL 16 BUCK MOON
July is the month of the Full Buck Moon. At this time, a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode. This full moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month. Here are a few other Native American names for the July full moon (translated literally into English):
“Ripe Corn Moon” –Cherokee
“Middle of Summer Moon” –Ponca
“Moon When Limbs of Trees Are Broken by Fruit” –Zuni
AUG 16 STURGEON MOON
Some Native American tribes called the August moon the “Sturgeon Moon” because they knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this Full Moon. They also called August’s moon the “Full Green Corn Moon.” Different tribes used different Moon names. Other examples for August are: “Wheat Cut Moon” (San Ildefonso, and San Juan), “Moon When All Things Ripen” (Dakotah Sioux), and ”Blueberry Moon” (Ojibwe).
SEP 14 HARVEST MOON
This year, the September full Moon is called the Harvest Moon. Unlike other full moon names, which are specific to their respective months, the Harvest Moon is tied to an astronomical event: the autumnal equinox. The full moon that falls nearest to the equinox (September 22) takes on the name “Harvest Moon,” rather than its traditional name. (This means that a Harvest Moon could occur in either September or October.) The Harvest Moon provides the most light at the time when it’s needed most—to complete the harvest!
OCT 14 HUNTER’S MOON
The Algonquin Native American tribes referred to October’s moon as the Full Hunter’s Moon because signaling the time to go hunting in preparation for winter. Since the harvesters have reaped the fields, hunters can easily see the fattened deer and other animals that have come out to glean (and the foxes that have come out to prey on them).
The earliest use of the term “Hunter’s Moon” cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710. Some sources suggest that other names for the Hunter’s Moon are the Sanguine or Blood Moon, either associated with the blood from with hunting or the turning of the leaves in autumn. Other Native American tribes, who tied the full Moon names to the season’s activities, called the full Moon the “Travel Moon” and the “Dying Grass Moon.”