January’s Wolf Moon


by Sid Baglini

Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7:00 pm

We begin our second year of full moon walks with The Wolf Moon, named by Native Americans because it is a month when the howls of wolf packs were commonly heard.  We are more likely to hear the call of a Great Horned Owl than we are of a wolf, but the name of this moon reminds us of the prevalence of top predators in the lives of earlier occupants of this land.

Not surprisingly, the other names our First Nations people gave to this full moon all have something to do with the fearsome temperatures..  There is nothing obscure about the names “Hard Moon”, “Severe Moon”, “Frost Exploding Moon”, “Freeze Up Moon” or just plain “Cold Moon”. Take a moment to imagine the constant chill from which the only escape was an open fire or a fireplace in a drafty cabin. Worse yet, there was no Polartec!  The one name that does not refer to the cold is “Center Moon” which refers to the fact that this full moon is approximately the middle of the winter season.

The moon will reach its peak at 2:18 pm, but will not be visible to us until about sunset, when it rises above the horizon.

Note: While admiring the fortitude of those who named this full moon, we are required to consider the safety of our participants. Reports currently show a fairly clear night on Thursday, but with a chance of snow earlier in the day.  If conditions are such that walking may be hazardous, especially after dark when “Freeze Up” may quickly result in black ice or slick conditions, regretfully we will have to cancel the walk.  If in doubt, please check the Malvern Arts website for cancellation notification. (It will be noted on the calendar on the Welcome Page.) If snow or ice prevents our walk, take a few moments to step outside anyway, and enjoy the moonlight which combined with snow cover creates a wonderfully illuminated landscape.


  1. Dear Sid, I am enjoying your comments and information about the full Moon every month. Although I cannot walk with you, it is so interesting to read and think about what is happening outside around us. Thank you for keeping me aware. Nancy Marion.

    1. Nancy, thanks so much for your encouragement. That is my hope that we are reaching both “walkers” and those who appreciate the night sky but may not wish to join the group. Sometimes, just a step outside the door for a few moments is enough to connect with the cosmos. During the summer when we are in Nova Scotia, I always step out onto the deck to check out the sky before bed.
      Barring complete cloud cover, my moment sometimes stretches to 20 or 30 minutes but I’m never more than 3 feet from my door. The grandeur can be captivating!

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