Saturday, April 11, 2009


How many days until the moon is full?

Twenty-eight days from now, on Saturday May 9th, at precisely 4:01 a.m. will be the next full moon according to the 2009 Moon Calendar posted in my laundry room. Just two days ago, on Thursday, April 9th at 14:56 or about three in the afternoon, was our most recent full moon.

I think the reason that Dodge put this question high up in the environmental awareness quiz is that watching the moon has been the most universal way for humans to understand the passing of time, other than the rising and setting of the sun. We can look at a calendar and mark the days, but what does a month feel like? Perhaps the most natural expression of a month is the cycle of the moon (of course, for women, there are other "gifts" of nature that follow a similar pattern), which is just over 29 days. The lunar month, the year, and the day are the natural markers of time that all of life evolved and functions on, versus the warped sense of time we have become accustomed to via media, movies, high speed travel, and the ticking of clocks.

One of the plants here in Phoenix that has a noticeable built-in moon clock is the Argentine Cactus, a popular landscaping plant with huge white flowers that are adapted for bat pollination. Each year, beginning in March or April, they bloom most prolifically around the full moon. Each night, a new batch of flowers unfurls and then fade by the next mid-morning.These flowers have an intoxicating fragrance from the abundant nectar that attracts bats and other pollinators, nature's moonshine.

For our family, watching the moon has also been a perfect way to motivate for a late evening walk, and to enjoy the nature of night. We purchased our moon calendar poster from Celestial Products on their website at

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