What is a Wolf Moon?

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 dazzling full moon, and it arrives in January. Native Americans called it Wolf Moon because it appeared at the height of the howling of the hungry wolves. The nickname was adopted by colonial settlers and added to the calendar, and so continues 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,
”Oh my fair moon yes you can.”

The Moon’s Lover – Native American Story

Wolf Moon 2020

The first full moon of 2020 shone in all its magnificence. Over London on the evening of Friday, the 10th of January. 
I was on my way to the supermarket when I noticed it. It lit up Fortune Park (small local park on my route to the shops) like powerful film arc lamps. I gasped at its brightness! 

Wolf Moon Photo | iPad art Illustration: Lesley Scoble

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 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 must be an expert to notice this consequential subtle dimming in the moon’s light. 

Wolf Moon over London

I should have changed the mode on my Canon PowerShot SX740 HS to get a better image. The moon was too bright to capture any detail in auto mode. It was late and chill on the balcony to fiddle with exposure dials. What kind of photographer does that make me?! I went inside. Lamenting the Wolf Moon over London doesn’t turn up, accompanied by a sound of the howling of the wolves…

Here is a little poem I wrote in honour of the Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon Poem

The wolf moon is full and bright
and comes out on a mid-winters night
Shining
High up, high,
appearing in the cold firmament
sky—
Seen
in a keen keen keening wind
on a cold mid-winter night—
dazzling frozen stars
Shining
Hungry wolves of the forest
howling
pining, whining
on the prowl.
A Native American called Ko’ko Burrowing Owl
sits beneath its light
Wrapped warm in blanket cowl
Smoking a pipe
watching
Listening to the howl

Lesley Scoble 10th January 2020

Have a howling good week everyone!

I am re-blogging this old post to celebrate the Wolf Moon of 2022 turning up to dazzle us again on 17th of January. 

Here is a photo I took tonight of a London Plane tree silhouetted by the first full moon of 2022.
Wolf Moon over London 17th of January | Photo: Lesley Scoble

3 comments

  1. Hi Lesley – lovely poems … and yes the moon was clear as a bell – or as could be with the wispy clouds around … I’ve got some beautiful cards from Canada with the wolf and moon – symbols of their land. Cheers – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hilary,
      Nice to hear from you 😊 Thanks for the positive comment 🙏 Yes, it was a stunning moon! (my photos didn’t do it justice!)
      Canada is somewhere I should dearly love to travel to—
      Cheers!
      Lesley x

      Liked by 1 person

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