May’s Moon – a ‘Hare’ raising Tale.

Tonight is the night of the full moon of May. Some may call it the Full Flower Moon, named for the abundance of spring flowers that dance in the light of the moon as we sleep,

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or the Full Planting Moon, a signal to begin tucking tiny seeds into their beds of soil. It is also the Full Milk Moon, in celebration of the happy cows that have been moved into the pasture to graze on lush green grass.

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I love each of these names for the May moon, just because I love spring. But my favorite name for this moon is its English Medieval name—the Full Hare Moon.

The moon and hare have a long history together. The Egyptians believed the hare to be a messenger to the female moon goddess. And to the pagans, a moon-gazing hare is a sign of fertility, growth and new-beginnings. But these tales of the moon and the hare are not what draws me to this Full Hare Moon of May.

The hare raises her nose and sniffs the warming night time air. Her long ears swivel as she listens to the sounds of night—the sleepy chirps of birds as they settle into their nests, the song of a cricket from the nearby woods, and someplace in the distance a wolf howls. Feeling exposed under the bright light of the full moon she hops cautiously into the field.

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Spring has taken a solid hold on her meadow and the tender green grass is so sweet that she soon forgets her caution. Only a few hours ago, she’d raced through this same meadow as she’d tested her mate’s speed. It was in this very spot that she’d slowed, then rose onto her hind legs and boxed him in the face. She was pleased that he did not turn away, instead he resumed the chase as she dashed away from him once more. She felt satisfied that she’d chosen a good mate.

A shadow moved over her. With a squeal, she pushed off with her strong hind legs. She felt the owl’s talons brush her tail as she raced across the meadow. She darted left, then right.

She could see the trees now. How had she wandered so far away from them?

The shadow glided across the field—closer, closer… The whoosh of wings filled her ears and she felt the rush of air against her fur. But the sharp talons closed on empty air.

With one final leap, she reached the woods and ducked into the shelter of a large rhododendron. She flattened her ears as the owl’s screech filled the night air. Safe in her shelter, the hare looked up through the leaves at the moon. She thanked the bright moon for its shadowy warning that had changed her fate.

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As I gaze up at the moon tonight, I will look for the hare on the moon. The Egyptians, Chinese, and Native Americans all have legends as to how that hare came to live on the moon. But for me, that hare is a reminder to pay attention to the world around me and to enjoy this life.

This is a shot I took of last night’s moon. The moon was still low in the sky and the reflections ohare moonf light in the atmosphere gave it this beautiful orange glow. Try to ignore my substandard drawing skills, but I traced out the two images of the hare on the moon for you.

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Teri Lee is the author of Troubled Spirits, a YA paranormal novel

Welcome Spring

It might not feel like it to some of my northern friends, but winter is officially over and spring has begun!  I love this time of year, when fresh green leaves burst from their buds and flowering blooms erupt in a kaleidoscope of color.

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On April 4th when the spring moon rises, it will be a blood moon—a total lunar eclipse. As the moon passes through the earth’s dark shadow, it will turn a rusty or red color. But don’t blink, because this eclipse will be over in a five short minutes. Here on the East coast (EDT) I’ll be checking the night sky at 2:01 AM on Saturday morning. Click here to find out the best time to catch sight of the blood moon in your area.

Photo Credit - Kevin Lyons
Photo Credit – Kevin Lyons

Like all moons, April’s full moon has many names.The most common is the Spring Moon, for obvious reasons. To the Abenaki it is the Sugar Moon (now my mouth is watering for some real maple syrup).

 

 

Along with other flowery names, it is also known as the Pink moon, named for the pink flox that burst into bloom in early spring.

But it’s most common name among Native Americans has to do with geese. It is the Moon When Geese Lay Their Eggs, the Gray Goose Moon, and Moon when Geese Return in Scattered Formation. If you’ve stumbled upon my #PhotographyJourney on Instagram, Facebook or my website, then you have already guessed these are my favorites.

 

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The goose thrusts his feet forward and spreads his wings, pulling them back to slow his descent. Water splashes up around him, sending rippling waves across the surface of the lake. There is another splash beside him as his mate lands.

 

 

Together they glide across the lake toward the tall green grass growing along a small island in the center of the lake. This has been their nesting site for the past three years and he is anxious to claim it once again.water grass

The sun has disappeared behind the trees as they step onto the island, shake the water from their tail feathers and waddle up the embankment. A crow caws from a nearby tree, breaking the stillness of the evening, then flies off leaving them alone on their island.

Despite the rapidly darkening sky, his mate begins gathering twigs and grass to start the nest. The gander returns to the water, dipping his head beneath the surface to nibble on the tender water plants. He spots movement at the edge of the water and glides over to investigate. A raccoon looks up. Their eyes meet and the gander circles away, moving silently through the water. He waits until the raccoon is gone before he turns back to the island. Although his mate has yet to lay her eggs he is not willing to risk exposing the location of the nest.

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The light of the full moon shimmers on the now smooth lake surface as he settles in beside her. He tucks his beak beneath his wing. Tomorrow they will finish the nest. He closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep dreaming of the fluffy yellow and gray goslings that will soon trail behind him as he sails across the lake.

I’ll be working in the ER during this full moon, but I’ll sneak outside to soak up a bit of the Moon when Geese Lay Their Eggs so that I can absorb a refreshing burst of spring inspiration while I continue my work on the sequel to Troubled Spirits.

 

Photo Credit - Allen Moscowitz
Photo Credit – Allen Moscowitz

Don’t miss this full moon and if you manage to snap a shot of the blood moon, please share in the comment section below. I’d love to see it!

 

 

 

Goodbye Winter Moon

This year’s micro-moon will rise into the night sky on March 5th. Because of its current distance from the earth it is the smallest moon of the year, but for me it represents something big—something exciting—the end of winter!

Photo Credit: Jackie Tiner
Photo Credit: Jackie Tiner

Many of the March moon monikers symbolize this welcome transition of the seasons. After months of the bright winter sun reflecting off the snow, some Native Americans call this The Moon When Eyes are Sore from the Bright Snow. And as the snow melts in the warming daytime temperatures only to freeze again at night, a thick crust forms on the snow, providing inspiration for another name–the Full Crust Moon.

Photo Credit: Lyons Den Photography
Photo Credit: Lyons Den Photography

Soon the winds will dry the melting snow, which is why the Celts call it the Moon of Winds.

As always, I have a favorite name for this month’s moon. It is the Full Crow Moon.

Photo credit: Jodi Tiner (Access Photography)
Photo credit: Jodi Tiner (Access Photography)

The winter wind ruffles the crow’s black feathers as he soars just above the bare branches of the sleeping trees, their roots tucked safely away beneath the long winter’s snow.

sunset (2) The  western sky is ablaze with the colors of the setting sun. As the the crow turns eastward he is greeted by the moon.

Impatient for darkness it shines before him in the blue sky.

The crow circles once, then alights at the top of a towering pine. He caws, disturbing the evening stillness as he welcomes the last moon of winter.

He too is impatient. He is ready for the melting of the snow and the softening of the earth which will bring the worms to the surface.  He is ready for the trees to once again be filled with fresh green leaves, teeming with insects. He is ready to soak upearlymoon1 the warmth of the sun.

When I look up at the Full Crow Moon, I too will say goodbye to winter. Although I’ll  pass on the teeming insects, like the crow, I crave the warmth of the sun, trees filled with fresh green leaves, and the emergence of colorful spring flowers. I can hardly wait to soak in their beauty!  What’s your favorite part of spring?

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The Moon of the Raccoon

The waxing moon is growing larger each night and on the 3rd, February’s full moon will illuminate the sky. Most know this moon as the Snow Moon, a fitting name considering the blizzard that buried the northeastern United States last week. It has other names also inspired by the bitter cold of winter—to the Celts it is the Moon of Ice and to Native Americans it is The Moon When Trees Pop, the Hunger Moon, and the Little Famine Moon. But my favorite name for this moon is one that has nothing to do with the winter chill. It is the Moon of the Raccoon.

As darkness settles over the forest, the raccoon emerges from the warmth of his winter den. He pauses in the shadows as the wolf slinks toward the man-village in hopes of another easy meal. The raccoon is hungry, but it is not the hunt for food that has drawn him from his den. A call much stronger than hunger brings him into this cold, still night.

He waiRaccoon Moonts until the muted sound of the wolf padding through the snow disappears and then slips from the shelter of darkness to begin his search. The full moon fills the sky, casting its light through the bare branches. A sharp pop shatters the stillness and the raccoon pauses once again. But it is only the sound of freezing sap bursting from the branch of a nearby tree.

He has ventured beyond the boundaries of his usual territory when the wind shifts and he recognizes her scent, but there is another scent and it is closer. With a hiss, he turns to face his challenger and then attacks. Growls and screams fill the night air as the two raccoon boars fight for the female.

Defeated, his contender disappears into the night and the conqueror croons into the darkness. Soon the forest will be filled with new calls.raccoon moon2

The Moon of the Raccoon is a reminder that nature has begun its preparation for spring. There is hope. The snow will melt. The ground will thaw. And new life will emerge.

Giveaway

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During my search for images to use for this blog, I stumbled across the cover of Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand. In this heartwarming story, Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school. He wants to stay home with his mom. To help ease his fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a secret with him—the secret of the kissing hand.

I couldn’t resist picking up a copy, well two copies actually. One for my two granddaughters and one or you!  I’ll be giving away a copy of Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand to one lucky winner. You can enter using the rafflecopter link below or commenting on this post. This giveaway will close on Valentine’s Day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations Brantley S.