by Sid Baglini
Sunday, August 22, 2021
(see below for self-selected times)
Much as I will miss you and our always enjoyable and sometimes surprising walks, I am taking a break for several months. As promised I am providing information for a self-guided walk under the full moon. This month, it peaks at 8:22 a.m. Sunday but will appear to be full from Friday night through Sunday night so let the weather be your guide. The moon rises at 7:14 p.m. on Friday, 7:53 p.m. on Saturday and 8:25 p.m. on Sunday, but remember to allow about 40 minutes or more for it to clear the horizon unless you are watching from the beach, the prairie, or the desert. Feel free to overdose and walk all three nights!
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 dams were removed along the lower reaches of our rivers, and water quality improved, these fish slowly increased in number. We can thank our local watershed associations and environmental protection nonprofits for enabling a resurgence of this threatened native species. Once home to millions of these fishy 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.
Other names for the August moon are the Full Green Corn Moon, The 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 know that August is, indeed, when the harvest begins in earnest. In honor of that, why not stop by the Malvern Farmers’ Market Saturday morning and celebrate the ripened harvest brought to our doorstep every week.
Look to the northwest for a lovely view of Venus, a welcome beacon this time of year. It rises higher each evening and masquerades as an aircraft on a flight path into Philly, but it doesn’t move.
Speaking of nocturnal companions, the chorus is swelling. Crickets, katydids and other nighttime serenaders are picking up where the cicadas leave off at day’s end. Just as the fireflies fade from fields and lawns, these hidden musical gems fill the void with sounds. Grab a flashlight and just try to locate one of them vocalizing from nearby. It’s harder than you think. And if you are very lucky, you will hear the fairy-like, soprano warble of a nocturnal soloist that was nearby the evening my husband and I went to the battlefield to watch the Perseids Meteor Shower. Pure magic!
So, you’re on your own. Grab family or friends or just venture out alone to enjoy the show. I’ll be doing the same and looking forward to the next time we gather to walk under a full moon.