What is a Wolf Moon?
It’s that moon when, the moment you see it you gasp at its brightness and exclaim, ‘Wow! Look at the moon!’
It is a very bright full moon and it arrives in January. It was called Wolf Moon by native Americans because it appears at the time when the howling of the hungry wolves in the cold mid-winter was heard. The nickname was adopted by colonial settlers and added to the calendar, and so continues in use today.
The Moon’s Lover (excerpt)
The moon lies and says,
”I have been so lonely
and I wish to tell that stupid wolf to stop howling.
Will you let me do it?”
The sun replies,The Moon’s Lover – Native American Story
”Oh my fair moon yes you can.”
Wolf Moon 2020
The first full moon of 2020 showed up on the evening of Friday the 10th January. I gasped at its brightness when I saw it on my way to the supermarket. It shone above Fortune Park (small local park en route to the supermarket) in all its magnificence.
Wolf Moon behind a Barbican Tower
I took the photo of the Wolf Moon from our small balcony just before it slid from view behind the tower.
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
This January’s moon apparently comes with a penumbral lunar eclipse (missed noticing that!). A penumbral lunar eclipse is when the moon moves through the outer fainter shadow of the Earth. I suspect you have to be an expert to notice it is an eclipse, which is observed by just a subtle dimming of the moon as it passes through the penumbra of the Earth.
I probably should have changed the mode on my Canon PowerShot SX740 HS to obtain a better image. The moon was too bright to capture any detail in auto mode. But, it was late and chill on the balcony. So, I went inside…lamenting that the Wolf Moon over London doesn’t come with the accompanying sound of the howling of the wolves…
Wolf Moon Poem
The wolf moon is full and brightLesley Scoble 10th January 2020
and comes out on a mid-winters night
High up, high,
appearing in the cold firmament
in a keen keen keening wind
on a cold mid-winter night—
dazzling frozen stars
Hungry wolves of the forest
on the prowl.
A Native American called Ko’ko Burrowing Owl
sits beneath its light
Wrapped warm in a blanket cowl
Smoking a pipe
Listening to the howl
Have a howling good week everyone!