A moon walk under the setting sun, to climb the green hills of home; then greet the Full Strawberry Moon of July.
Take a walk into the night to see the light
Inspiration for the moon walk
You do not need to be an astronaut to do a moon walk.
Being happiest and most relaxed whilst out in nature; I came to realise I was missing out on the darker half of nature, when I pulled the curtains one night.
Unexpectedly seeing a full moon, I thought that if I go outside when I should be coming in; I will get to appreciate natures beauty when us diurnal animals are fast asleep.
The route and plan
To fully appreciate the moon rise; I chose to walk somewhere close to home but far enough away from civilization and its houses and street lights. Near to me, overlooking the Wiltshire town of Westbury; lies an escarpment of the great Salisbury plain. This place was recommended by a friend who also appreciates nature; so was happy to join me in search for the full moon. If you are scared of the dark; check out a day walk in the same area: Westbury White Horse
Driving up the escarpment to save our legs; we parked near the White Horse, an outline of a horse carved into the chalk hillside. Leaving the cars we walked away from the road and another source of light pollution. Walking for just ten minutes we were soon out in the chalk meadows with the only source of light coming from the setting sun.
This magical time in the day when the sun is setting and the darkness creeps over the land; is known as: ‘The Terminator’. A constantly moving line between night and day; which travels at a 1,000 miles per hour over the equator but slows towards the poles. It is fascinating to think, that with: a supersonic jet you could fly out of the night; or if on the pole, walk back into the day. To find out more and read a better explanation; check out Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminator_(solar)
I find it is so refreshing as well as relaxing to be out walking at this time of day. Birds call out their territories and warn of emerging predators whilst foxes and bats call out good morning; the low angle of the sun brings out every colour of the landscape and the sky can be painted every shade of red. See the photo of above and note the concentric circles in the field that can only be seen in a low light. Is it the remains and earthworks of an earlier settlement?
The Thunder moon of July
After comically failing to view the Strawberry Moon of June; due to a thunderstorm blowing in just as the moon was about to rise. I fought off the fatigue of a long day to stay out to see the Thunder moon in July. Yet as we walked out over the meadows; a cool breeze started to grow and threatening clouds sped above us. Yet, we remained positive and kept scanning the eastern horizon for a first glimpse of the rising moon. My friend and I had a light hearted arguement and then wager on exactly where the moon would rise over the horizon. With us both agreeing it would be due east but not agreeing on which way was east! To find out more about the moons calendar and rise and setting time where you are; check out this helpful website: https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/
The twelve moons of the year; from which we get the word month, have their own names. The native American Indian names for the moon are still used now and conjure wonderful images in the minds eye; especially if you too are watching the moon rise like those brave men many moons ago. I have given you the names for the moons of June and July; find out the other ten for yourself or make up your own!
When we had almost felt like giving up and bowing out gracefully to the cold, cloud and dark; a orange smudge appeared on the horizon. Within a minute the smudge had turned into a semi circle of cool light then a hazy soft orb. It climbed in to the sky quickly at first; then slowing as the angle of its orbit changed from my point of view.
Spellbound by the sight, we looked on for a while; then tried to take a few photos with a cheap digital camera and our mobile phones. To take quality photos of the moon; expensive lenses are needed as well as many settings of a well made camera. You can try with your phone or camera; check out this great website for some top tips: https://www.lightstalking.com/how-to-photograph-the-moon/
Yet don’t forget to record with your own eyes, this wonderful feat of nature in our universe.
Take a walk into the night to see the light
So find out for yourself where and when the full moon next rises near you. Choose a safe but remote location to avoid light pollution from houses, street lights and cars. Take a lover or just a friend, take warm clothes even it is warm in the evening sun, take a picnic or even a barbecue, maybe take a tipple but definitely take a torch and means of navigation.
Then get out there and enjoy the darker but light side of the world. Feel the power and magnetism of our nearest universal neighbour, breathe the fresh night air, take care in the dark but then relax into the moonlight.
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