Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Icy Blue Moon

Be upstanding and raise a glass
In this New Year
May only good things come to Pass

There will be a blue Moon on New Years Eve, this hasn't happened in 20 years and won't happen again again until 2028. chances are it will not be visible where I live, possibly a faint glow will be, again I am hopeful.
"The Full Cold Moon". the "Long Night Moon" that lights the way into a new decade today, may be hidden by clouds and precipitation, thus my name for it " The Icy Blue Moon."
I wanted to include some information about the "Blue Moon".

Once in a Blue Moon
by Borgna Brunner and Anne Marie Imbornoni
Blue Moon
Related Links

* Perpetual Calendar

Blue Moon Resources

* Blue Moon Page
* "What's a Blue Moon?" from Sky & Telescope

Blue Moons 2008–2012

May 2008
Third full moon in a season of four full moons
Dec. 2009
Second full moon in month
Nov. 2010
Third full moon in a season of four full moons
Aug. 2012
Second full moon in month

Although the full moon that occurred Tuesday, May 20, 2008, looked like an ordinary full moon, it was actually a bit extraordinary—a blue moon.
What is a Blue Moon?

There are in fact two definitions for a blue moon. According to the more recent definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days).
The Other Kind of Blue Moon

May 2008's blue moon qualified as such under an older definition, which is recorded in early issues of the Maine Farmer's Almanac. According to this definition, the blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Why would one want to identify the third full moon in a season of four full moons? The answer is complex, and has to do with the Christian ecclesiastical calendar.

Some years have an extra full moon—13 instead of 12. Since the identity of the moons was important in the ecclesiastical calendar (the Paschal Moon, for example, used to be crucial for determining the date of Easter), a year with a thirteenth moon skewed the calendar, since there were names for only 12 moons. By identifying the extra, thirteenth moon as a blue moon, the ecclesiastical calendar was able to stay on track.

For a fuller explanation see For more background information on the controversy over the two definitions of blue moon, see the Sky and Telescope article, "What's a Blue Moon?" In it they explain how the two different definitions of a blue moon came about—including their own role in introducing the second, modern definition.
A Star Rating for the Modern Blue Moon

Although Sky & Telescope calls the modern blue moon definition "trendy" and a "mistake," the fact that there is an older, preexisting (and more complicated) definition does not necessarily make it the more interesting or meaningful definition. Charting the "third full moon in four full moons" in a season isn't everyone's idea of an fascinating enterprise. The modern, "trendy" definition, however, points to an intriguing astronomical phenomenon—every so often two moons can manage to position themselves in the same month. Given that full moons occur once every 29.5 days, this is quite an accomplishment!
How Often Does a Blue Moon Occur?

Over the next 20 years there will be about 15 blue moons, with an almost equal number of both types of blue moons occurring. No blue moon of any kind will occur in the years 2011, 2014, and 2017.

The more recent phenomenon, where the blue moon is considered to be the second full moon in a calendar month, last occurred on May 31, 2007. Two full moons in one month may occur in any month out of the year except for February, which is shorter than the lunar cycle.

The other, older blue moon event, which happens when there are four full moons in a season, last occured in August 2005. Since this type of blue moon is reckoned according to the seasons, it can only occur in February, May, August, or November, about a month before the equinox or the solstice.
Twice in a Blue Moon

The rare phenomenon of two blue moons (using the more recent definitition) occurring in the same year happens approximately once every 19 years. 1999 was the last time a blue moon appeared twice, in January and March.

The months of the double blue moons are almost always January and March. That is because the short month that falls in between them, February, is a key ingredient in this once-every-19-year phenomenon. For January and March to each have two full moons, it's necessary for February to have none at all. Since February is usually 28 days long, and the average span between full moons is 29.5 days, if a full moon occurs at the end of January, it's possible for the next full moon to skip February entirely and fall in the beginning of March.
Once in a Blue Moon

"Blue moon" appears to have been a colloquial expression long before it developed its calendrical senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference to a blue moon comes from a proverb recorded in 1528:

If they say the moon is blue,
We must believe that it is true.

Saying the moon was blue was equivalent to saying the moon was made of green (or cream) cheese; it indicated an obvious absurdity. In the 19th century, the phrase until a blue moon developed, meaning "never." The phrase, once in a blue moon today has come to mean "every now and then" or "rarely"—whether it gained that meaning through association with the lunar event remains uncertain.

Like the Celtic New Year of Samhain, A blue Moon on New years is said to thin the veil between worlds.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Plans

Don't know why this didn't occur to me until now, but in a few days the first decade of a new millennium is over. I think that should be significant, remembering the near panic that gripped people at the opening of this millennium. The nightly news regaled us with rumors of impending doom, espoused by people who had bought tons of tinned food and now made their homes in desert caves.
As I have every year since the early 60's I sat up to watch the new year festivities in Times Square. Wondering if the power grid would fail, all the computer dependent services would come to a halt. and nothing happened, and as usuall in those days car horns blared, firecrackers were set off, old guy down over the hill fired his rifle. Nothing new happened, the lights didn't even flicker. So I finished my champagne and went to bed.
Now, ten years after, living in a very different world. The lack of optimism, lack of hope, the widespread fear, and rumor mongering that pass for opinions. more electronically connected we get the more alone we become, less and less real contact and , more virtual life and the list goes on.
Again there I hope to sit, watching the refurbished ball drop in Times Square, in the dark with my champagne.....and being hopeful.

Friday, December 25, 2009

a christnas card

It has not been the best of years for many of us, myself included.
I even thought about not celebrating Christmas at all, but then the words rang out from "Home Alone" " NO! NO! NO! this is the season of perpetual hope!!!!" So let there be hope and optimism, let the Little Things brighten your day until the Big Things come along.
Before I go back to 24 hours of a "Christmas Story" I wish my readers
A very happy Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snus tins, however you pronounce it

Duct tape is "the handyman's secret weapon" as Red Green would say.
Snuss tin, is the handiest storage know to man. The folks at Camel knew what they were doing when chose that is almost worth taking up chewing to have those little tins.
But it is much better if you know someone who chews and considers them, after the first 100 or so to excess.
So far I have used them to store. pennies, washers and screws that are for something around the house, but I can't remember what, those extra little lights on the Christmas light string, nuts. both edible and hardware. little batteries, heirloom seeds, trapping pinebugs, storing my collection of square cut nails, and beads dug from the garden, old military buttons, a couple of watches that need batteries, they hold enough new nails to male them worthwhile, thumbtacks and rubber-bands, pen nibs, erasers, some pretty beads, some ugly keys, fuses. well you get the idea.
They look so nice and tidy all stacked up there, five rows of seven tins each.
Only I didn't label them.

Monday, December 21, 2009

a daydream is a daydream

The shortest day of the year, and I am preparing Brussel sprouts for the freezer,
watching the flurries as I hold the last bits of summer sun and warmth in my hands, carefully trimming each sprout. Tomorrow the days start to get longer, even though the bulk of winter is ahead.
I watch the few bird picking at something in the lilacs and beyond them are the raspberries and currant, blueberries and the wooden box that shelters the now dormant asparagus crowns. It is so very quiet.
I can hear my thoughts, deep in this contemplation, or is it revelry I try to remember the scent of fresh raspberries and the heft of ripe pumpkins. The sweet and fresh taste of the first sugar pod peas, was that only a few months ago, because it seems like forever.
I can hear a faint clicking sound, branches, and I close my doesn't work....winter is winter and a day dream is a daydream.
Tomorrow the days start getting longer

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All weather in a day

Yes that is another flower picture, a different flower and about a month later as I discovered this one as I was adding to my ever growing display of Christmas lights. And then I found another one!
Though some may think that a dandelion is not a flower I disagree.
Imagine flowers in December, here in the snowbelt.
Not so odd as the past couple of days have been weatherwise. The weather has been the topic of the local news, there is always anticipation before a big storm, could it be that people actually enjoy watching foul weather? Tthe 5 o'clock news had team coverage of a storm that hadn't even started yet, and reporters stood in front of rows of snowplows and piles of anti-skid, interviewing country roadmasters, made uncomfortable by the attention. Nothing was happening yet, but it was on its way, downed power lines, and there were, trees blocking road ways, and there were, ice accumulating on everything, and it did; and of course the possibility of 3 to 6 inches of snow. Now this was exciting stuff, especially if you were one of the unfortunates who had to drive in it.

Get out the flashlights , and an extra blanket, then wait! At 10:15 PM the ground was still clear, had the forecasters been in error? Buy 10:21 there was a coating of snow, and then the unmistakable sound, like hail but not quite. of freezing rain, the winds were getting louder and stronger and reckoning that the power would soon be off and I would be plunged into darkness sleep was a good idea.
I woke to no power and a dull sky and light rain. Not much if any ice, and it was getting warmer, by noon it was shirtsleeve weather, to me anyhow, even though there was still snow on the ground, the sky cleared and the sun was out. I could hear a low rumble and the sky became dark, there it was right on time, just as promised, a thunderstorm!!!
The sun came out again, but there was a chill in the air, and soon, it was winter again.

slightly wordy Slent Sunday on a road

Not every picture is worth a thousand words, but the memory it represents is.