Modern Moons

Here on the edge of tomorrow, we spend the hour before midnight gazing at the July sky. Out in the country one can focus on lights millions of miles away. A telescope is not needed but will be welcomed for an intense search, if that is the sky gazer’s goal.

Sky or star gazing goes on around the globe every night of the year and has since the beginning of the world. Some search for new discoveries, some look for patterns to understand the universe by, some watch and wonder. It seems the darkest nights with the clearest views often make the most complex questions seem answered in a few twinkling stars.

Native American Indians were keen on looking to the skies for heartfelt names to moons and months. July’s full moon for them was Thunder Moon or Heat Moon. Shawnee language held words such as Ahquoiteti for warm, hot weather. Or Nipain’oui for summer season.

What would today’s modern full moon be called? You are invited to supply the name.

Fishing/Gardening

Hot days are the norm now. Only a few hours are really good fishing weather according to the bait shop buddies. Never the less, the master fisherman here at Greengate homestead is intent on planning a trip to his favorite lake on the predicted best days of July 18-20 with two days before and two days after just to be sure of all possible catches. Garden-wise, beans are inundating us, tomatoes have set and are just shy of ripe. A welcome sight between the rows of peppers last evening was a toad. More power to him, bugs beware.

Outside the Yard

If you’re interested in star gazing and would like to combine it with an out-of-state vacation check out information on Pickett State Park’s July Star Party on July 9. Held at the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area, this gathering begins at 9:30 pm. Contact Pickett CCC Memorial State Park, 4605 Pickett Park Hwy. Jamestown, TN. Park office: 931-879-5821 or Organizer-Monique Hodge at 931-319-0580. This event is free.

On July 14 and again on July 21, NASA Visitor Center will take astronomy to the beach. The Astronomy and Night Sky Summer Series will be held at the Assateague Island National Seashore, VA. Weather Permitting. Event is free, however, Refuge entrance fee applies. Time is 7:30 pm. Meet at the Herbert H. Bateman Education Center Auditorium. First hour is an astronomy 101 presentation. From 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. there will be night sky observations with telescopes and binoculars. Weather permitting. Contact 757-824-1344 or go to www.nasa.gov/center/wallops/visitorcenter.

Both events are family oriented. Recommended gear is red light flashlight, insect repellant and binoculars.

Word of the Month

Planisphere: A chart to assist in learning how to recognize stars and constellations. It is a representation of a spherical Earth on a map drawn in the plane (flat).

Quote of the Month

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” Wallace Stevens, American Poet 1879-1955