Saturday, September 25, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: Waxing gibbous Harvest Moon

Waxing gibbous Harvest Moon

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. Depending on the year, the full Harvest Moon can occur anywhere from two weeks before the autumn equinox to two weeks after. Thus, the Harvest Moon is either the last full moon of the summer season or the first full moon in autumn.

In 2021, the Northern Hemisphere autumn equinox comes on September 22. The full moon falls less than two days earlier, on September 20. Thus, for the Northern Hemisphere, this upcoming full moon is the Harvest Moon and the last full moon of summer.
EarthSky.

As it happened, clouds and rain obscured my view of the full harvest moon. But not all was lost.

Six days prior, on 14 September, I looked up at the (only slightly clouded) night sky over Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and saw the moon, beautiful even if it was only 52% illuminated and waxing gibbous, announcing the impending end to summer.

-----more-----

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: Fallen Oktoberfest

Autumn carpet

On 12 October 1810, Ludwig, crown prince of Bavaria, celebrated his wedding to Therese, princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen, with a big party in the capital city of Munich. He celebrated again the following year and each thereafter continuing to do so after even ascending to the Bavarian throne in 1825. Social unrest —including the Bavarian Beer Riots of 1844— ended his reign in 1848 but the beer-drinking and feasting endured. Bavarians and visitors continue to celebrate the annual bacchanal, from mid-September into early October, calling it Oktoberfest.

***************

Fallen Oktoberfest

Since 1810, there have been only twenty-six occasions on which Oktoberfest has not been held. The COVID-19 pandemic accounts for two of those: last year and again this. Only twice before has disease has canceled teh celebrations —in 1854 and 1874— on both occasions because of a cholera epidemic.

If Oktoberfest had occurred in Munich this year, it would have begun today, Saturday, 18 September, and concluded sixteen days from now, on Sunday, 3 October, German Unity Day.

***************

Pic(k) of the Week

Someone (maybe even I) once said, "The colors of autumn are the colors of beer."

So, here, to remember a fallen Oktoberfest: an autumn leaves tableau...but taken last year. Northern hemisphere autumn doesn't begin until 22 September, so things haven't quite yet reached THAT point of fallen color!

-----more-----

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: Mantis preying for autumn

Mantis praying for autumn

Preying,
She hunts.
Prematurely autumnal.

As seen alongside the East Decatur Greenway in the city of Decatur, Georgia, USA, on 22 August 2021. (Autumn does not officially begin for another month, on 22 September.)

The species praying mantis (Mantodea), like the cockroach, has existed since the Cretaceous period, 145 million years ago. It probably will continue thus for hundreds of millions more. Unlike us.

-----more-----

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: Porcelain on the vine

Porcelain on the vine

Robin's-egg-blue but invasive.

In mid-summer, bedewed porcelain berries grow wild, ringing Postal Pond in Legacy Park of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 1 August 2021.
Ampelopsis glandulosa var. brevipedunculata —with common names porcelain berry, Amur peppervine, wild grape, and creeper— is a deciduous, woody, perennial vine climbing trees and shrubs via tendrils to a height of 15-20 feet (4-6 m). It is naturally found in Northeast China, Korea, Siberia, and Japan, but was introduced in 1870 to the United States where it has become invasive along the East Coast. Fruits are circular berries about 1/3 inch in diameter (8 mm), in many colors on the same plant, including green, blue, purple, pink, or yellow. The vines are found in disturbed areas such as roadsides, old fields, and floodplains where sunlight is abundant.
Wikipedia.

-----more-----