August’s Sturgeon Moon

by Sid Baglini

The next Walk When the Moon is Full will be Monday, August 3rd at 9:00 pm

Once again, we will plan to walk under a full moon, garbed in our masks and maintaining proper social distance.  We will gather in the parking lot by the side door (facing Borough Hall) and head up toward the Paoli Memorial Battlefield which affords a nice view of the rising moon over the fields.

This month’s full moon is called The Sturgeon Moon, named for the very large freshwater fish that historically were found in great numbers in our rivers. As some dams have been removed along the lower reaches of our rivers and water pollution is being addressed, these fish are slowly increasing in number.  Once home to millions of these fish that are considered living fossils, the Delaware estuary is thought to now be home to about 11,000 individuals.  Long lived, the female Sturgeon does not lay eggs until it is 20 years old. The collapse of the population happened in the 19th century when their eggs became a popular source of caviar. 

Other names for the August full moon are the Full Green Corn MoonThe Grain Moon or similarly, the Wheat Cut Moon, the Blueberry Moon, or just the Moon When All Things Ripen.  Any of us who have gardens, or in my case a garden and a blueberry patch, know that August is, indeed, when the harvest begins in earnest. (Perhaps it should also be called The Aching Back Moon for the amount of work it takes to bring in the harvest!)

You can catch the full moon on either Sunday night or Monday night since it reaches peak illumination at 11:59 A.M. on the 3rd. Although the sky will be brightly illuminated by the moon, we may be lucky to see one of the early meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower.  While it peaks between August 11th to 13th, meteors associated with it can be seen from late July until late August. It is generally one of the best meteor showers of the year and the warm temperatures make it possible to spread a blanket and do some serious watching so keep those dates in mind.

Finally, here are a couple of tidbits I picked up of “moon folklore” provided by The Farmer’s Almanac:

Clothes washed for the first time in the full Moon will not last long

If you glimpse the new Moon over your right shoulder, you will have good luck

To have a project prosper, start it during the new Moon

Babies born a day after the full Moon enjoy success and endurance

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