Saturday, October 27, 2012
(Well, I guess it's actually Saturday now, but still...)
We're coming up on the mid-point of the Autumn season. I've noticed that the nights have grown fairly silent, the singing insects and frogs of summer gone. The days are quieter, too. There are still a few trees that are just now starting to turn, but many of them have already shed their leaves. Most of the oak and beech trees are covered in brown, dry leaves, which they tend to hold on to through the winter. The sound of the wind whipping through the dry leaves and bare branches really signals that the dark half of the year is setting in.
The sun itself is another signal, of course. Not only is the sun setting earlier and earlier, it stays closer to the horizon each day. Many people notice this, know that the sun doesn't rise as high during the colder months - but not as many seem to notice that the opposite is true for the full moon. The full moons of the dark half of the year will rise higher into the sky than they do during the light half of the year.
The stars also seem to shine brighter in the winter months, and interestingly this is partly because we're actually seeing fewer stars in the sky. During the summer months we're facing more stars, seeing more starlight, which makes the sky seem less clear and focused. Another reason is of course summer weather, there's humidity, heat, summer haze which all helps to obscure the sky a bit. Crisp winter weather means crisper skies.
Bare branches and higher rising moons makes for very well lit nights, of course. It's cold here, but it will be a while before the snow sets in. It's a great time of year to get out and hold rituals in the moonlight, if one is able to do so.