The blue moon

“Blue Moon Rising” 2012 © Arthur Drescher

I arose early, pulled on my pants and shirt and dashed out the back door down the street to the hill that overlooks the valley to catch a glimpse of the orange moon before it set.

Folk lore has it that the second full moon in the same month is called a blue moon, but the Maine Farmers’ Almanac defines it differently. The third full moon in any given quarter where there are four full moons is referred to as the blue moon.

In the economy of the ancients the tropical year began with the winter solstice or “Yule.” From this point of reference the remainder of the year was defined by the vernal equinox, the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox.

In any given quarter there are usually three full moons. On those rare occasions when there are four, the third full moon is called the blue moon.

According to the calendar, there will be one blue moon in 2012 (tonight) and one in 2013 (in August, the same month).

Either this evening or perhaps early tomorrow morning I hope to witness this year’s blue moon as it rises and sets opposite the sun.

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One comment on “The blue moon

  1. td says:

    Still doesn’t explain why it’s ” Blue “, but certainly has inspired a few memorable songs …. (Rogers & Hart) and covered by The Marcels, Sha Na Na, Billy Holiday, Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, … etc.

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