Friday, June 8, 2012

Harvest Moon

Shine on, shine on harvest moon
Up in the sky ...

OK. If you want to get technical about it, our June 4th moon wasn't a harvest moon - at least if you take Wikipedia's word for it. A harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

But, since our June moon happened during Wheat Harvest 2012, it was a Harvest Moon in my book. You can't complain about a workday that goes into night when the sky has such beautiful adornments.

While it didn't happen in October, it did fit the definition in other ways. According to Wikipedia, "the Harvest Moon seems to be bigger or brighter or more colorful than other full moons. The warm color of the Moon shortly after it rises is caused by light from the Moon passing through a greater amount of atmospheric particles than when the moon is overhead."

Wheat harvest causes plenty of extra "atmospheric particles" in the form of wheat chaff and dust. And that night, our neighbors had two combines and a grain cart in the field south of us along with our own combine and trucks, so we were stirring up a good amount of "atmospheric particles."

The atmosphere scatters the bluish component of moonlight which is really reflected white light from the sun, but allows the reddish component of the light to travel a straighter path to one's eyes.

It appears larger in size because the brain perceives a low-hanging moon to be larger than one that's high in the sky. This is known as a moon illusion, which is probably why my magic-loving husband called me out to take a look. He does love illusions.

The moon looked like an extra running light for the combine as the machine worked its way to the east. Pretty as a picture, don't you think?
Moonrise over harvest field, June 4, 2012
Check out another version (better than mine) that our neighbor Julie McNickle took.

And the harvest continues. Our neighbor's combine arrived like the cavalry last night, right after supper. They are done with their harvest and came to help us finish. Today, I'll set two more places at the dinner table for an extra combine driver and truck driver.

Sunset, June 7, 2012
So the sun will set on Harvest 2012 sooner than expected - maybe even later today!


  1. I counted it as a harvest moon, too! I've always looked forward to the full moon during wheat harvest. I even got on the radio this year to tell the crew, "Look to the east, guys! It's the harvest moon!!" I might have been more excited than some of them :)

  2. Beautiful photos. I tried and tried to get a good picture of that moon the other night, but my photos of the moon always turn out like blobs. Any tips?

  3. @ Kim: Well, if they didn't appreciate it, it was their loss, right?! It was definitely worth seeing! @ Jennifer - I usually struggle with moon photos, too. This time, I used the night landscape setting on my camera and that seemed to help. I also steadied the camera on the car to try to avoid moving it. I'm certainly not an expert. Just blessed this time, I guess!