August, 2017

Modern Moons

There is only one thing everyone is talking about this month: the total solar eclipse due on August 21. It will be the first one to hit the United States since 1979 and that one was only visible in a tiny part of the western states. No, there is no doubt that this is a significant event that will draw the attention of anyone interested in the sky, passing on their memories of it to future generations.

Cutting a 70-mile wide path across the country from west to east, Ohio will be in the 80% to 90% range. Just south in Kentucky and Tennessee begins the closest area of 100% total eclipse. Imagine a large ribbon being hung across the country from Salem, Oregon and as the sun warms the day, it sags a bit, ending in Charleston, South Carolina. In Dayton, Ohio, the partial eclipse will begin at 1 p.m. Be ready to see a darkening of the sky. By 2:29 p.m. the partial eclipse will have reached its maximum. So, even if you can’t travel into the path of totality, you’ll see an awesome event.

If you are in the path of totality, you may see stars and planets appear in the sky as it gets darker and darker. Flowers close up and animals react as if it were night. Birds go to roosting. The temperature may even fall as it cools down a number of degrees.

All our lives we have been warned not to look directly at the sun. To watch the sun and moon come together, you will need to wear special sunglasses that block out ultraviolet and infrared rays. If you are planning on photographing the event, you’ll need a special filter for your camera.

Planning ahead will insure you a safe, exciting experience.

Full moons in the past were named after earthly events such as Green Corn Moon or Heat Moon. This month’s Modern Moon may be called the Dark Day Moon.

Fishing/Gardening

With sixteen days of the month predicted to have possible thunderstorms or at least rain, Mr. Greengate has decided to fish around home. The best days predicted are August 15-22. How that will turn out during the solar eclipse is something he is looking forward to. His end-of-July trip put a large amount of pan fish in the freezer so he is quite pleased that his newly purchased equipment did so well. Not to be outdone, the new mini tiller purchased during his absence made work a stroll in the park for Mrs. Greengate. She no longer needs to call for her better half to start the machine or hang on to it when rounding corners in the garden. Everyone is happy for now. The mood when the bills come in is yet to be discovered.

Succulent sweet corn and tomatoes fill out evening meals. Blackberries gathered along fence rows make for desserts enjoyed on the shaded lawn as evening bird song and fireflies settle in to the slightly cooler air.

Outside the Yard

Ohioans know one does not have to travel far to enjoy festivals in August. In every quadrant of the state, one can enjoy a weekend of food, crowds, colorful and fun activities. Valley City Frog Jump Festival is free for the family. August 20 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. will find frogs in the ring vying for super jumper bragging rights. Located at Mill Stream Park in downtown Valley City, Ohio, phone 330-722-5502 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

Troy, Ohio will hold their annual Troy Festival of Nations on August 19 from 2-8 p.m. Cultures from around the world will be featured in interactive displays, arts and crafts, food, games, etc. Visit their website troyfestivalofnations.com for more info.

If you’re looking for food themes, check out these towns for some good eating:

  • North Ridgeville Corn Festival, Aug. 11-13.
  • Cleveland Garlic Festival, Aug. 26-27.
  • Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival, Aug. 17-19
  • Corn City Festival, Deshler, Ohio, Aug. 5-6.
  • Germanfest Picnic, Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 11-13.
  • National Hamburger Festival, Akron, Ohio, Aug. 12-13.

Word of the Month

Sultry: adjective meaning hot, airless, muggy, sticky with humidity, oppressive. A sultry haze of August heat settled over Ohio corn fields.

Quote of the Month

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard, American writer and humorist, 1946-1994.