Friday, May 24, 2013

The Full Flower Moon


I don't think it matters how old you get, there's still something hopeful and romantic about a full moon.  I generally notice the ones in September and October.  I like their names:  September is the Harvest Moon; October is the Hunter's Moon, and they always appear so big and orange when they rise very suddenly and dramatically in the east.

But I just learned that the full moon in May is called the Full Flower Moon.  I like that name, too, especially because May has always been a favorite month.  I like so many songs that mention the month of May, like "They Were You" from The Fantasticks and "In the Still of the Night" (not the Cole Porter one, but the one from high school years by the Five Satins), to name two.

And, of course, there are the sweet scents that go along with all the May flowers - the roses and peonies, the Confederate jasmine and especially the honeysuckle.  There used to be a huge tangle of the latter going up a tree next to a giant rock outside my kitchen window.  You could sit on the back balcony at night, and the fragrance was intoxicating.  Some well-meaning yard helper cut the whole thing down, and although the obnoxious vine grows all through the woods, I can't seem to get it restarted in that same place.

I'm having a bit of trouble with the timing of the Full Flower Moon.  Technically, the moon will be full at 12:26 a.m. on May 25.  But, I'm counting tonight as the full moon, since it will come up pretty much full after dark (I wish I had the patience to look up what time it will rise where I live).  Unfortunately, I live in the forest, and I never see the moon low in the sky unless it's just before dawn.

So, in thinking of this particular moon, I found this photograph I took at Giverny.  If nothing else, it says "full flower" to me.  I don't think those pink roses could be much denser.  And, I love the matching poppies underneath.  They're a bit on the wane, but they go nicely with the roses.

Wherever you are on this night (or early morning) of the Full Flower moon, I hope it's clear.  For us here in Atlanta, it is going to be a spectacular night - cool, breezy with low humidity.  Definitely a night to take in the Full Flower Moon and if you're lucky, to enjoy the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle and jasmine.