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The Second March Moon…what’s in a name?

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

The above photo is one I shot last night from the sidewalk in front of my small and disheveled Allentown (Buffalo, NY) home. The moon was 99.7% full last night and tonight it will be 100%. I took the photo last night while I had the chance as it is supposed to be overcast this evening. 

Anyhow, this is the second full moon this month, which makes it a blue moon. Some Native American tribes refer to this as the worm moon because it is the time of year that the ground softens enough for earth worms reappear, which then brings birds. The early American Colonists referred to this moon as the sap moon because it was at this time of the year that maple sap really began to run. It is also sometimes called the Lenten moon, because it signifies the end of the Christian period of Lent.

This brings me to the next brief topic, and some of you may already know this, but this moon is also the reason that the date of Easter changes each year. Easter is always on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, which of course shows the early Pagan roots of Easter and Christianity (please don’t send me hate mail or try to “save me,” this is fact-based information).  Anyhow, this is pretty interesting stuff, I think. But I’ll get off my little soap box now.

Urban Simplicity.

La Luna Roja!

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Shine and shimmer my harvest moon, Illuminate the shadows of the sky.”

A.F. Stewart, Reflections of Poetry

These photos were all shot a week ago, on the evening of the harvest moon/blood moon/super moon/lunar eclipse. Some were shot on Buffalo’s beautiful waterfront, while others were shot from the sidewalk in front of my house. They are not all of the moon, of course, but that was the real star of the show that evening. It was a pretty incredible sight. Anyhow, click any photo for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

The Paschal Moon (again, but full this time)

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I first posted a picture of this moon–the Passover/Easter moon–here, posting about it’s relevance to both Easter and Passover and thinking I wouldn’t get a chance to see it full. But then last night, amidst a rather turbulent sky, the clouds parted just long enough for me to get a few shots. And here is one of them. Click it for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

The Paschal Moon…

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Today is Good Friday and it also coincides with the beginning of Passover this evening. I shot this last picture two nights ago from the sidewalk in front of my house while drinking red wine (it was such a lovely evening)…the Paschal (or Passover) Moon, which determines the date of Easter each year. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Anyhow, it is only about 80% full in this photo. It’ll be full on Saturday but it looks like it will be cloudy so I took this photo when it was perfectly clear, and here it is. Click the image for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

The season of the worm (supposedly)…

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The Worm Moon. That’s one of the names for the March moon…because it’s when worms usually start to poke their heads above ground, not this year with our frozen soil. I was frigid cold as I stood with stinging fingers capturing this image in single digits Fahrenheit. Other names are Crust Moon (because this is when the winter’s crust begins to melt), Sap Moon (because this is when the maple sap would begin to flow), and Lenten Moon (because it took place during the season of Lent. There, of course, are many other names for this moon…but interestingly I just learned that this moon is the farthest from planet earth during 2015. It is said to be the opposite of a super moon. None the less, it stopped me in my tracks tonight as it rose over the city.

Urban Simplicity.

Snow Hunger…

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So a couple things. I came out of our local JCC where where I regularly steam and swim and this moon was staring me in the face. I had my tripod with me because I’m participating in the Fun-a-Day project for February–and am taking a photo a day for the month–and wasn’t sure what would inspire me until I saw this. I came out the back door just as it rose over the horizon on another really frigid night and it nearly took my breath away. The February full moon goes by many names–Sad Moon, Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, to name a few–but the one that really resonated with me was Hunger Moon, so named because food (in times bygone) was often scarce during this frigid month. And yes, it has been frigid…and snowy. Below is an image of my bike after arriving home this evening. I’d be lying if I said it has been easy these past few days, but I’m still enjoying it and know it won’t last forever (and I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s about this time of year that I don’t start to pine for warmer weather). This said,  I really enjoy being an active part of my environment, plus it’s a great workout. Some people downhill or cross-country ski, some mountain bike, this is what I (and others) do. And there is something really ironic, I think, when a guy on a bike stops to help push a car that is stuck in the snow.

Urban Simplicity.

Ninety Nine Percent…

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I took this photo in my back yard this evening. I just love seeing a full or nearly full moon. It’s a waxing gibbous, or 99% full. Anyhow, I thought I’d share the photo.

Urban Simplicity.

Something to look at…

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I took this photo in my backyard last night. I took about ten, actually, but this is my favorite. Pretty cool, right? And no, before you ask, I do not have a crazy expensive or powerful camera…entree level in photography world, actually. The main camera I shoot with is a Canon t5i, which was a gift to myself for completing seminary training this past summer. And if there are any camera geeks reading this, these are the setting I used…first, of course, I cropped the photo after uploading, and when I shot the image I was using a 75-300mm lens zoomed in to 300mm. I used a 1/10 second shutter speed,  F/20 aperture and an ISO 100. And yes, being taken last night, I also realize that this is not a 100% full moon, but a Waning Gibbous at 97%. The moon is 238,900 miles or 384,400 km away from where I stood last night while I shot this photo with a glass of wine in my hand and shoeing away my two crazy pugs, less they shake the tripod. But still I was able to capture it. And it looks so beautiful to me…just hovering there all desolate while all the craziness on earth continues to happen. And it really is something to look at.


Urban Simplicity.

Moon Stalker…

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Okay. So first of all I have to apologize for all the moon photos. But I really couldn’t help myself. If you saw the super moon you know what I am talking about. It was just so incredibly beautiful. This is really a continuation of this post, where I went out and took photos in the moonlight while standing on the Michigan Avenue Bridge. The photos on this page were actually shot over the course of two night, all from the same vantage point of the Bird Island Pier but at different times and using different camera adjustments. The only three photos that were not facing east towards Buffalo are pretty obvious in this group…two below this text is an image of the point where Lake Erie spills into the very mouth of the Niagara river and begins it’s 25 mile trek to the Falls, and below that is the Peace Bridge, and the last photo is the sunset looking west at Canada. Sorry again if I’m boring you with so many photos…it’s so peaceful out there on the pier at night and I shot more than a hundred photos. These are just a few of my favorites. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

View(s) from my handlebars, while on a bridge…

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I went out tonight to take photos of the super, super-moon (and yes I know it is two days early but it still looked pretty cool), and I rode down to the historic Michigan Avenue Lift Bridge, which crosses the Buffalo River. I had nice views of both sides, the most difficult part was having to wait for traffic as the bridge bounced and would blur the photos. Anyhow, here’s a few of my favorites.

Urban Simplicity.