My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, December 9, 2011

SkyWatch Friday: The Cold Moon

The Cold Moon, that's what December's full moon was called by the Celts and the Algonquin. But it goes by many names ~ in Colonial America it was called the Christmas Moon, to the Chinese it's the Bitter Moon, to the Cherokee the Snow Moon, Neo-Pagans the Long Night Moon, the Medieval English the Oak Moon. No matter what it's called, the nearly-full waxing moon, which will be officially full tomorrow morning (Dec 10, 2011) at 9:36 EST, sure has been beautiful the past couple of days!

Took this one yesterday morning from our office window

And these next two from our back porch early this morning.
Bitter Moon and Cold Moon were the best names for it then!

Tomorrow's full moon will experience a total lunar eclipse, the last eclipse of the year. Check out this page to find out if it will be visible in your neck of the woods and when!

And check out more skies around the world at

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Interesting seasonal moon info. Happy SWF!

  2. Thanks for stopping by! Your photos of the moon are beautiful. I noticed a moon much like yours through the tree behind our house early this morning when I took the dog out!
    I am excited for the full moon and lunar eclipse. The last two full moons have been obscured by clouds!

  3. Great captures! That last one is especially cool. It looks like it could be Halloween!

  4. Oh the moon has been lovely the past days...I've been watching it too...isn't if fun we can look at the same thing even though we're so far away from each other?

    I love your pics! Especially the bitter and cold moon ones: mysterious and magical, it reminds me of faery woods.

    Thanks for the info on all the different names for the moon...very cool. And also the eclipse info, though between the time of start of partial, time of end of partial, and time of end of total, it's making my head spin ever so slightly.

    There's a candlelight walk around the lake by our house tomorrow....hopefully we'll catch it mid-spin at some stage.

    Happy weekend Laurie.

  5. Your Christmas moon is wonderful, Laloofah. Like how you used the tree silhouette for perspective too. The last two indeed reflect the mood of bitter and cold. Thanks for sky watch info. We'll be checking.

  6. Great piece of info here, and an enchanting moon :)

  7. Jeannelle ~ I think the various names for each month's full moon are definitely interesting. Wonder why our culture/era doesn't do that? Happy SWF to you, too!

    Ellie C ~ You're welcome, and I hope you're enjoying some full moon-gazing from Down Under lately!

    Martha ~ My pleasure, and right back atcha! :-) Fun that we shared such similar moon views this morning! Enjoy the full moon and lunar eclipse tonight. I'm wishing you clear skies for it!

    Molly ~ I thought the same thing! About both of the ones from this morning. Very Halloweenie! :-)

    Rose ~ Yes, it's very fun that we all get to watch the same moon, despite being miles apart! It sounds like you've been enjoying some clear Seattle skies lately, and I hope they continue tonight so you can maybe catch a glimpse of the eclipse, and tomorrow for your full moon walk around the lake. That sounds like fun!

    Mysterious and magical faery woods for sure - very apt description!

    You're welcome for the moon names. I love all the full moon names from the various cultures and times and think we should definitely adopt that tradition. And I agree that the global lunar eclipse schedule is rather giddy. Just figuring out the local time from UT was enough to make me need a beer. :-)

    Happy weekend to you too, Rose!

  8. raf ~ Thank you! I'd love to take all kinds of credit for artistically and intentionally using the tree silhouettes in those shots, but I had no choice. They stood between me and the moon and it was too cold to leave my porch and trudge through the snow in my jammies for a clearer shot. LOL I love tree silhouettes in sky photos, though, so I was quite bewitched by that view when I stepped onto the porch to plug in the Christmas lights early this morning. They really do capture the bitter cold well, don't they?

    Firas ~ Thanks you! It was enchanting indeed, but then La Luna usually is. :-)

  9. John pointed out the huge full moon to me on Saturday afternoon and when I saw this post I thought, 'Wow! It was the same in America!!!' DOH! Nice that we were watching the same one! :o)

  10. The moon has certainly been very bright (at least around here) these last few nights. Interestingly, you are the second blogger to teach me about the "cold moon". How is it I hadn't heard that term before?

  11. We saw the final part of the eclipse when we were driving home, I did try and get some photos but they just look like a streaky blob! Yours are great. I love winter nights when the sky is this clear and sharp.

  12. Penny ~ LOL! Yep, we shared a full moon! It is nice, it makes the distances between us feel smaller. :-)

    VioletSky ~ Isn't that funny how that will happen? I wonder if you saw the term a third time since you left your comment - those things usually happen in threes (at least!) for me.

    Barbara ~ (Your cover is blown!) Streaky blobs are usually what I get when I photograph the moon, and I got a few of them that morning, too. I'm glad you like my successful ones, because I always feel so inadequate when I see the full moon photos some fellow SkyWatchers get - huge and crater-filled and beautiful!

  13. I seem to be having problems commenting on my blog and your blog. Anyways, you can definitely use the lifestyle line; I think we all should! We should meet up sometime. What is the best way to contact you? If you want to email me, my address is in the contact section of my blog.

  14. I've missed you. Hope things are well with you and that you are xmas-busy or somewhere nice lazing in the sun :-)

  15. Tami ~ Oh, that's a bummer about your comments not working! I hope you're able to get that resolved and am glad you were at least able to leave this comment for me. Thanks for loaning me (and everyone else) that great response! :-)
    I'd love to meet up sometime, but our lives are in short-term turmoil right now as we struggle through the flu (me), Christmas as a UPS man (my husband), and trying to figure out what to do and where to live when our lease on this place is up in 4 months, so it may not be till late spring or summer till I can travel or do a meetup, but then I'd love to!

    You should be able to email me by clicking on the dragon in the left column, between the One Lovely Blog Award and my Feejit Traffic Feed, but it doesn't work for some people so you can also use my blogger nickname at mac dot com.

    hannah ~ Oh, dear sweet Hannah, I've missed you too and I love how you think! Somewhere nice lazing in the sun sounds hedonistically wonderful right now! But no, my absence has been due to a combination of particularly busy (holidays and otherwise), sick, and very distracted! I hope to both settle down and catch up soon, but then - I always hope that, usually to no avail. :-)

  16. What a fun informative post. I had no idea there were so many names for the moon. How ironic that it's called both the Christmas moon and the bitter moon! I'm thinking half full and half empty personalities there!!

    My favorite photo was the second one. Reminds me of something you'd see in a scary movie. The tree limbs look like a web across the sky!

  17. Jo ~ I'm glad it was FULL of interesting new information for you, that your interest didn't WANE, and that my scary photos didn't PHASE you. :-) Are you referring to the personalities of the people who call it Christmas Moon vs Bitter Moon or to the personality of the Moon itself? I can tell you that on the morning I took these photos, "Bitter Moon" was a very apt name!

    I love that one too, and it made me think of a spooky screenplay I had to write in a college film class. The setting was a graveyard at Halloween at night, and that is exactly the kind of sky - full moon and bare branches and all - that I tried to describe for it!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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