November’s Beaver Moon

by Sid Baglini

Sunday, November 29, 7:00 p.m.

(Note: Due to expected rain, the date for our walk is revised from the previously published schedule)

The weather report shows 80% chance of rain for our next moonwalk–the same percentage it showed for Thanksgiving Day, and we all know how beautiful that was. However, since the full Moon reaches its peak at 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning and it appears full from Saturday until Tuesday morning, we are changing the posted date of the walk from Monday night to Sunday night.

Native Americans called this The Beaver Moon, this being the time of year when they disappeared from the open water and wooded edges to shelter for the winter in their well stocked, haystack shaped dens.  Because animals were busy foraging this time of year, searching under leaves for nuts or remaining shoots, some called it The Digging Moon or Scratching Moon. It is also known as The Cold Moon since the nights are long and typically cold, and The Frost Moon, which pays tribute to the plant killing, icy carpet that appears on the landscape this time of year. In Europe, it is called The Oak Moon which is thought to originate from the Druid practice of harvesting the parasitic mistletoe from a sacred oak and using it to make a cure for infertility and to reverse the effects of poison.

Early Monday morning, we will also experience a penumbral eclipse which is when the Moon passes through the outer shadow of the Earth. Unlike a total eclipse or partial eclipse, this phenomenon will not be visible to the naked eye but if you have a telescope and don’t mind being wide eyed in the early hours of the day, you can watch it. It starts at 2:32 a.m., peaks at 4:42 a.m. and ends at 6:53 a.m. At the peak, 83% of the Moon will be covered with the faint shadow of the Earth and may appear as just a slightly diminished glow of the Moon.

It looks like the mild autumn temperatures will persist making Sunday night an excellent opportunity for a comfortable walk so I hope you can join us for our moonlit stroll.   

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