As a confirmed moon watcher, I was out to watch the rise of the Harvest Moon over my backyard last night. It was a beautiful night with only a few wispy clouds and the "Queen of the Night" ruled over all in her matchless beauty.
The Harvest Moon as seen over my yard last night.
The Harvest Moon, as you probably know, is the full moon which occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. Well, you can't get much closer than having it come on the actual day of the autumnal equinox.
Autumn arrived quietly enough last night at 10:09, our time, and the full moon was already there to greet it. This unusual occurrence of the Harvest Moon and autumnal equinox coming on the same day had not happened since September 23, 1991, and it will not happen again until 2029. This particular "Super Harvest Moon" was made even more special for sky watchers because Jupiter and Uranus were in alignment, as well.
The Harvest Moon got its name because, in the days before electric lights and mechanized farm equipment with their own light sources, this moon was very important to farmers who were able to continue their fall harvesting activities into the night aided by its light.
Though it may not be needed for harvesting any more, some of us like to look at our gardens by its light, a light which is much kinder than the sun's. By moonlight, even my garden is beautiful, and as I walked the path through my vegetable garden last night, gazing at the new plants I had installed there this week, those little plants looked very perky and happy and I could go to my bed and dream blissful dreams of harvests to come.