The moonlight poured through the thin clouds and pooled on the snow-covered ground, giving the sea of white a silvery-blue tint that seemed to mimic the stars above.  The great silhouettes of trees reached across the celestial surface, and it was both beautiful and alien.  Although what I witnessed was not a Full Moon, as this occurred earlier in the month, January 4th to be exact, it was a spectacle nonetheless.

Moonlight changes with the different phases.  Phases meaning the angle at which we view the moon from earth.  Surprisingly, the moon does not generate its own light but reflects the light of the sun.  There are eight phases in all, each which give us a unique view and name every 29.5 days.  Some believe optimal planting times can be calculated by the different phases of the moon, ultimately providing better seed germination. There appears to be some scientific proof to support such beliefs, but the moon’s mystique and beauty are undeniable.

  New MoonThe first moon phase.

  Waxing Crescent Moon:  Waxing simply put means growing and refers to the size of the illuminated part of the moon.

  First Quarter Moon:  Shows half of its lighted side to earth.  It rises at noon, is overhead by sunset, and sets around midnight.

  Waxing Gibbous Moon:  It is more than half lit but less than a full moon.  It appears high in the east at sunset.

  Full Moon:  Full moon’s occur when the moon lies on the opposite side of the earth from the sun.  When viewed from earth, the moon is fully illuminated by the sun.  The next full moon can be seen on February 3rd at 5:09 PM CST.

  Waning Gibbous Moon:  Waning means to shrink or decrease and refers to the fact that less and less of the moon is visible until it completely disappears into a New Moon.

  Last Quarter Moon:  It appears half lit and rises around midnight.  It appears highest in the sky around dawn and sets around noon.

  Waning Crescent Moon:  Sometimes referred to as Old Moon, it is seen in the east before dawn.

Take a moment to note the moon and its phases.  Pay attention to how the moonlight accents the landscape.  It’ll help fritter away time on long, gray, winter days and nights.

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
-Mark Twain

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney