I’ve just been out visiting one of my favorite on-line places — The Farmer’s Almanac.
I adore almanacs. So old-fashioned. So filled with practical advice. So mystical in their knowledge of when to plant, what kind of winter we’ll have, and all the other predictions found between the covers.
Now that the old Farmer’s Almanac has met up with modern technology, the results are mind-boggling. Their website is updated every day to provide the latest and most useful information.
For example, did you know that today, August 15 is the “best day” for cutting firewood, mowing to increase growth, castrating farm animals, digging holes, weaning, potty training, washing windows, advertising to sell, and traveling for pleasure?
Much of the almanac involves astronomy. You can get information on the night skies, what to see, when to see it, and more. You can also get fishing information, health tips, and some good, old-fashioned, down-home wisdom every day.
But back to the moon. In a previous post, I mentioned the upcoming full moon on August 20. I’ve long known that each full moon has a name — as often as not, several names. I’ve been reading the Farmer’s Almanac for a long time, you see.
So, just what is the August 20 moon? It’s the Sturgeon Moon, obviously, otherwise I would have given this post a different title. Yeah, right. But why is it the full sturgeon moon?
Here’s the answer:
Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names.
Full Sturgeon Moon – August: The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.
Handy information to have, wrapped up and sliced in-between more advertising than you can possibly imagined crammed into one place, but that’s part of the almanac’s charm.
Besides, where else can you buy rain chains?