Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Harvest Moon

Earlier this evening my husband and I ran an errand to WalMart, or Wally World, as hubby fondly refers to it.  :)  There was a beautiful moon coming up in the sky, and it looked a lot like the one below.  I remembered that I had done a post on the Harvest Moon back in September of 2011 (my first year of blogging).  I decided to re-post it tonight because it's that time of year again.  If you're sky gazers like we are, you might find the history of the Harvest Moon interesting.  Even if you don't care about the historical facts, it's hard to ignore the uncommon beauty of this autumn moon.


Image Credit:  Dan Bush of Missouri Skies

The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, which occurs in September (Northern Hemisphere).  About once every four years, the Harvest Moon is in October, but most years, it's in September, like this year.  And now for some history of the Harvest Moon.  Because I'm such a nerd, I'm all about the history :)

According to, "the shorter-than-usual time between moonrises around the Harvest Moon means no long periods of darkness between sunset and moonrise for days in succession.  In the days before tractor lights, the lamp of the Harvest Moon helped farmers to gather their crops, despite the diminishing daylight hours.  As the sun's light faded in the west, the moon would soon rise in the east to illuminate the fields throughout the night."   

So while we see the Harvest Moon as a beautiful, orange celestial light to gaze upon on a fall night, the farmers saw it in a much more practical way.  It gave them a few more hours in the day to harvest those crops, which they would desperately need to tide them over in the winter months. 

"Who named the Harvest Moon?  The name probably sprang to the lips of farmers throughout the northern hemisphere, on autumn evenings, as the Harvest Moon aided in bringing in the crops."  (Source:  Deborah Byrd on EarthSky, September 11, 2011)

According to Wikipedia, September was called "harvest month" in Charlemagne's calendar, and it's called Herbstmonat, or harvest month, in Switzerland.

All facts aside, I just think September is a beautiful month -- blue, blue skies and puffy white clouds.  And just a touch of fall in the air. 

If you click on the image below to enlarge, you'll see that the people in the picture are harvesting the grapes.  See what I mean -- September's all about the harvest; and for many of us it's about enjoying the transition from summer to fall.  :)

A calendar page for September
 from a 15th century book of hours.

Image Source:  Wikipedia

This beautiful image is from the Très Riches Heures, which is a book of hours--a collection of prayers to be said at canonical hours.  It was created between 1412 and 1416 for John, Duke of Berry, and is possibly the best example of manuscript illumination surviving to the present day.  I really love the incredibly rich colors in this medieval artwork.  

Thanks for stopping by the House at Forest Manor -- your visits are always welcome!  Have a great September day!



  1. I wish I could have seen the harvest moon this time, I purposely looked up the date when it would occur but I didn't see anything from where I live. I also didn't venture out far enough, I guess! Happy birthday, too, Denise. xo,

  2. I think I just decided that it might be September. I actually love October, too. That's so interesting about the harvest moon. Never knew that.

  3. Hello
    beautiful pictures and interesting informations. I don't know which month is my fav. Every one has nice options.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  4. I saw a harvest moon just like this one time at Blowing Rock.

  5. Yesterday evening I went out to get groceries and as I was leaving, I saw the moon peeking above the treeline. The sky was still blue, although darkening quickly. I'd hoped to get some photos but by the time I got home, the sky was too dark.
    Loved the history you shared, and the image from the book "très riches heures.'

  6. Ooh...pretty moon, Denise. I always learn so much from you. What a special image from the book that you've shared. Happy weekend to you and your hubby. xo

  7. As you may know I am a huge history buff and so thankful you reposted this as I missed it the first time.

    As I am typing this the box is lined up with the picture of your gorgeous MacDuff. So glad he is doing better as well. Oh yes, I would surely love to snuggle up and give him a good scratch behind his ears.

    Have a week as beautiful as you!



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