Last night I was working on a book proposal into the wee hours of the morning. When I realized it was the actual time of the full moon, I went outside to see if I could indeed see it, especially since it is what I knew, or thought I knew, to be a Blue Moon.
What I had learned some time ago was the second full moon in a month called a Blue Moon. It has nothing to do with the color. I won’t go into details as to how they think the name came about. You can go to Wikipedia for that. What I learned there is fascinating.
The term “blue moon” does refer to an extra moon, but not the second one in the month. It refers to the third moon in a season with four moons. This was to correct “the timing of the last month of a season what would have otherwise been expected too early. This happens every two to three years.”
Due to the rarity of the occurrence of four moons in a season, the term “blue moon” meant a rare event. Hence the phrase “once in a blue moon.”
I decided to look up the name for the July full moon. I learned several new pieces of information. First, the full moons have many names that come from Colonial America and the Native Americans. They used them as sort of a calendar to keep track of the seasons.
I know the October full moon is known as the Harvest Moon because it gave the farmers enough light to work all night long gathering the harvest. It turns out the July full moon is called the Buck Moon due to the bucks beginning to grow antlers at this time of year. I’d never hear that name for a July full moon. We had two full moons in July 2015 so they were both called Buck Moon. I’m calling this one the Full Buck Blue Moon.
The July full moon is also known as the Thunder Moon, because thunderstorms are frequent during the month. We’ve had thunderstorms (unfortunately without any rain, only lightening) here in Northern California many times this month.
I may start using the term Thunder Month in stead of saying July. Of course, I may have a few issues if I do. Somehow celebrating the Fourth of Thunder doesn’t have the same ring as Fourth of July. Plus the Founding Father’s might front on it as well.
Okay, I’ll use July as part of my calendar; but I’ll also start observing the seasons more in relations to how the Native Americans viewed them. I’m just not sure how I’m going to find a “buck” tonight while sitting in my backyard. We can take this “buck” comment many directions, so please share yours.