Friday, September 30, 2016

the Black Moon

The Black Moon. sounds so ominous, like it should be the name of a pirate ship at the very least!   Howsoever there seem to be some  interesting ideas swirling around this perfectly natural occurrence.  You know the usual stuff, like the world is going to end, the sun will never rise again, people will go to bed belonging to one gender and wake up belonging to the other; now that could be difficult.  Fish will walk across the land, is tis the origin of the Urban Legend of  'land sharks'? 

I have decided to post some science stuff, because though accept that this is a Celestially significant occurrence, and a natural wonder,  I will have to rely on the magic of my internet machine to see it because the sky is overcast, OK socked in with clouds. Ratz double Ratz!!!!   I probably shouldn't have used and expression that could turn into another  Urban Legend.

So I will go to bed tonight and look forward to seeing  videos and pictures of the Black Moon on my internet machine, or lasting long enough to see the next one which is in 2033.   Sigh! 

Pink Floyd rules!!!


What Is a Black Moon?
There are several definitions of a Black Moon. One of them is the 2nd New Moon in the same month, which happens in September or October 2016, depending on where you are.
Illustration image
The first days after a New Moon.
A Waxing Crescent Moon is visible the first days after a New Moon.
© Smith
Black Moon is not a well known astronomical term. In recent years, the term has been made popular by social media, astrologers, and followers of the Wiccan religion.

No Single Definition

There is no single accepted definition of a Black Moon. The term has been commonly used to refer to any of the following phenomena associated with the New Moon:
  • 2nd New Moon in a calendar month: These Black Moons are the most common ones, and they occur about once every 29 months. Because of time zone differences, the month they happen in can vary, like the Black Moon in September 2016 (US) or October 2016 (UK).
  • 3rd New Moon in a season of 4 New Moons: These Black Moons are a little rarer, and occur about once every 33 months. Astronomers divide a year into 4 seasons - spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter. Usually, each season has 3 months and 3 New Moons. When a season has 4 New Moons, the 3rd New Moon is called a Black Moon. This is the exact counterpart to the original definition of a Blue Moon, except that Blue Moons are Full Moons.
  • A calendar month without a New Moon: About once every 20 years, the month of February does not have a New Moon. This can only happen in February, as this is the only month which is shorter than 1 lunation. When this occurs, both January and March will have 2 New Moons, instead of the usual 1 New Moon. The next Black Moon by this definition will occur in 2033, while the last one was in 2014.
  • A calendar month without a Full Moon: About once every 20 years, February does not have a Full Moon. Instead, January and March have 2 Full Moons each. The next Black Moon by this definition will occur in 2018, while the last one was in 1999.

Invisible New Moon

New Moon is the moon phase when none of the Moon's surface is illuminated and we cannot see the Moon at all from Earth.
However, 2–5 times a year, the New Moon comes between Earth and the Sun, causing a solar eclipse. The New Moon, or at least a part of it, is then visible as a silhouette in front of the Sun.

Great American Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse
A New Moon totally eclipsing the Sun.
The Black Moon in August 2017 will cause a total solar eclipse aka the Great American Eclipse.
On August 21, 2017, a Black Moon will cause a total solar eclipse.
This particular Black Moon is the 3rd New Moon in a season with 4 New Moons, which makes it rare combination.
It will be visible, weather permitting, in a path spanning all across the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast, which has earned it the nickname the Great American Eclipse.
What will the Great American Eclipse look like where you are?

Ritual Significance

Black Moons hold special significance to people who practice certain forms of Pagan religions and who believe certain actions become more potent when performed on the night of a Black Moon.

Chili is alot like life, or magic

Every year about this time it happens, the sun begins to set earlier and rise later,  the air gets crisp, even chilly, the sky turns a brilliant blue and the light a warmer more golden tone as the angle of the sun changes. 
Somewhere between the wanderlust, and  childhood memories that flood back, and hoarding for winter, I get really hungry for chili.   It just doesn't taste as good as Spring springs forth, and it is even less appealing during the summer months.   But now when I am obsessed with how I will survive all of that time indoors, making chili the old fashioned way, sounds more than worth the time. 

My first encounter with chili and was as part of the school lunch program.  We didn't have chili at home.   What's not to love about chili, tomatoes, ground beef, kidney beans, a trifle hot, really savory, with a scattering of sweetness, yah! that is what I call a perfect food, a comfort food.   When I started making chili I followed a very simple recipe,  but along the way
I learned that everyone has their own recipe.    And eventually so did I.

My journey toward my own version of this flavorful mélange, began with the addition of ketchup, and few spoons of sugar.  A few batches later I ditched the sugar, and switched to stewed tomatoes.   One year I learned to make a mellow blend of apple, tomatoes, onions, sweet and hit peppers, locally know as  "Chile sauce" , which is still a part of my recipe, 
a Canadian woman, who I met at one evening when the roads ahead were closed by heavy  snow, told me to add some celery, against that is still part of my recipe.    I have tried sausage, chocolate, even coffee, none of which seems to be as great as I was told they would be.   When Adobo became available locally I started adding that, plus a few spoons full of masa to thicken the broth, both of which I think are good additions. 

I toyed with diced apples, which disappear, and are good, if you don't use more than one.   Even smokey bacon, which was quickly replaced  by nothing.   Tiny cubes of beef sometime replace, the burger, and ground elk or buffalo when I can get them. are swapped out for the lean ground beef.  After all these years my chili is still a work in progress

That said here is a photographic tour of the chili par of last night supper.

In my heaviest stainless steel Dutch oven is about 1 and 1/2 pounds of ground, ranch raised elk.
Super lean stuff so put a dash of oil in the pan. break it up and season with black pepper, chili powder, some garlic.

Let it brown, while enjoying the aroma.  The house feels warmer already


 Once the meat is browned, add in the vegetables,  and a little tomato juice or water if you prefer.  I have used  coffee and beer for this, but I'm not crazy about the taste they add.  You could add some of the juice from the beans

However I prepare large batches of beans from dried ones and freeze them, I don't usually have any of the salty, starchy liquid that is in canned beans.
After a few hours of cooking over low heat I taste it and adjust the seasoning.  Needed a little more salt, a dash or two more cumin, and some adobo for saltiness.  And  let it simmer until it looks well melded,  last adjust seasoning add a couple spoons of masa{corn meal flour, roasted if you can find it}, stir it well and serve.

                                                    What's this?!?!?
                               What's this!!!!!!!! I wanted another bowl!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

haiku~~~a tired earth

Sunset, orange and gold
in the night will turn cold, white
a tired earth sleeps

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Seedpods like green birds
release seeds on silken wings.
Fly away little birds.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A sorta wordy and out of focus Sunday picking apples

 I skould call this tree Old Faithful because

it still produces apples even with a trunk like this

 through the mist and drizzle everything looks like a Monet painting
           also it is easy to tell that  Fall is early this year

 they are certainly not the prettiest apples
       but they are so tasty

the deer eat them right on the tree
sorry I couldn't find a deer to illustrate that
one did stop by, but it was pretty dark by them
and he didn't hang around long when he saw my camera and I approaching

the  sahpes and contortions of tree limbs fascinate me

 OK, trees in general fascinate me
and they don't run away from my camera and I

 and looking down, I spy, purple!!
and other surprises

 goldenrod, at least to ne is beautiful

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Moon when the Leaves Dance

There is something in the air, something fresh, and a bit mysterious, something energizing, that tells my primal self that it is time for the beauty of Fall.  Septembers full moon when the leaves dance.  It really does seem to me that the still green leaves are dancing in the freshening  breeze. 

Acorn Moon,     Apples Moon,  Corn Moon,   Dancing Moon,    Falling Leaves Moon, 
Hunter's Moon, Leaves Changing Color Moon,       Little Chestnut Moon,     Maize Moon,
Moon of Much Freshness, Moon of Plenty,  Moon When the Leaves Fall Off,
Moon When the Leaves Change Color

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"seeing the sun rise and set in a foreign place"

To "see the sun rise and set in a foreign place" I heard someone say as they rushed past me.   I was ambling along trying to think of everything I knew about making , or should I say dipping candles.  One thing I know is that is a great workout for the arms and shoulders  also an exercise in patience. 

Then I started to think about the meaning of that phrase, instead.  Envisioning that the author of those words might be talking about a world tour,  but  he could be going someplace, anyplace. different from where he lived.    The more I thought the more I realized that any place is a foreign place,  simply, or oversimplified, it is not the place where you live, so that makes it foreign.   It could be  anywhere between the house on the left hand side of yours right the way round the world to the house on the right hand side.  
And in the each case the perspective is different, something is always different,  the sunrise and the sunset, the trees, the people and the customs.   Differences are in the eye  and heart of the beholder,  in the willingness to see and appreciate the differences.   The same  might be said of seeing the similarities,  and nuances of  familiar,  that can make one feel welcome no matter where they are.

Could it be that  appreciation of those small differences is the secret to the greatest reward and not the distance traveled or the exoticness of the location.  To me, the answer is yes.  When I have time there is nothing more  soul satisfying to me that to take the scenic route.    It's a route I know well, but there is always something different to see.   

Later that day, I was sitting by the fire, with my candle  making paraphernalia displayed on a wooden picnic table, the fragrance bayberry wax blend, and the summery aroma of melting beeswax, and of course the  smell, that going-back to school, reminds me of crayons smell, of melting paraffin wax.   

And  I found myself looking up at a waxing gibbous moonrise in a foreign sky.

slightly wordy Slent Sunday on a road

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