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There have been a series of Moonrises over the last week that were simply astonishing.  Our property has no vistas like I used to see in Colorado or Washington; but, when the leaves fall, and the moon is bright you can see it rise in the southeast, coming up over a series of bends in the Charles River, shining through the bare branches so that you have to bend and sway to make out it’s whole face.  The Quinobequin, they say that’s what the original inhabitants of this marshy area called the Meandering River, though that name is disputed.  Later called the Massachusetts River, it was later renamed for a vain inbred European monarch; abused and polluted for many years, it is now fairly clean; the Charles.

This River has always been there in my life, bearing my name on maps.  I did not regard it much as a child, except as a place for play, a place with some danger.  But I regard it a lot these days, especially since reading a local history book on King Phillip’s war.  That’s for another post, I was talking about Moonrises…

Tonight, the moon was orange, and just starting to wane.  I have decided this night that this is my favorite phase of the moon, just after full, when the upper right quadrant starts showing the curvature of our celestial neighbor.  I think this is when the Moon looks most like a sphere to me, most “round” even though it is just off-round at this phase.  In any case, it was a little lower in the sky tonight than it was last night, and I remembered what I learned in the Boy Scouts; the Moon rises about 50 minutes later every day, that’s approximately the width of your outstretched fist (a little less now, bigger fists), if I remember correctly.  So every night, if you look at the same time, the moon will be about a fist lower along the ecliptic.  There’s a useless tidbit for you.

The bright yellow moon shines brightly though the bare branches, and you can see the reflection on a bend of the river; not a vista, a private view, the feeling of a thing big rather than seeing the thing itself.  I guess this is one difference about being back east, at least in the geographical fengshui sense, smaller, more private vistas….

Dad studied wolves one summer, I remember because he dropped me off in Indiana to stay with my grandparents.  And it was the one summer he tried sporting a mustache, we ALL remember that.  He followed collared wolves around for a week or more, with a bunch of other teacher/volunteers.  They listened to the beeps, and recorded locations, and tracked one animal within yards of the enclosed truck… they never saw a live wolf.  But, he told me later, at night they learned to howl.  They learned the different elements of a howl, and put them together,and the wolves would respond.  And he tried to explain to me once how that felt…  Standing there in the driveway tonight, thinking about the Moon, and Moonrises of years passed, I wondered if I could get the local coyotes to join in a good howl…

Maybe tomorrow night.

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