What to call the moon

This morning, the path into town was strewn with frost, just waiting to send any unsuspecting, walking stick bearing man, slipping into a white oblivion. As a consequence, and from bitter experience, I walked most of the way on the grass and frozen mud. I also cursed the fleet footed dashing by me without a care in the world, as if the ground was hugging their feet in some sweet embrace denied to me.

All that white stuff in the photo above is treacherous. Well, it is to me.

As a consequence, I walked home via the less appealing, but more stable, East Street. This had the equal benefit of checking out the progress at the East Street Development. Or, as I call it, the Should Have Been a Park Development.

It looks completely out of place and far too big. Whoever designed it needs to go back to Design School, in particular the class called How to Make a New Development Blend in Rather than Going For the Ugly Architecture Awards.

It looks so awful that my camera refused to work. So, instead, here’s a photo a bit further along the footpath.

I do prefer it when you can see the sky as you walk along, rather than be shaded by unnecessarily looming buildings and scaffolding. But that’s probably just me.

The other thing I noticed on my walk into town was the last of the big old Wolf Moon beaming down on everything. It made me wonder why the full moon had a name and led me to discover that it has a different name each month.

Most of the names come from the native Americans (or True Americans, as I call them) and signify various changes in the cycle of nature. Along with the Wolf, there’s the Pink Moon, the Beaver Moon, a whole host of them. Well, 12 to be exact.

There’s also alternative names, some of which are far more appealing than the accepted one. For instance, my personal favourite is the Broken Snowshoe Moon in April.

I like to think its derivation lies with a furious True American, tramping across the frozen wastes, trying to get back to his home, a bison strapped to his back as evidence of his hunting prowess, a full moon lighting his way. His name was possibly Great Bison Hunter.

One sliding step at a time, he moved his snowshoes across the top of the solid pack of snow covered ground. He was happy; he felt he was close to the end of his freezing and laborious journey.

Then, suddenly, as if the gods of his ancestors were mocking him with their arbitrary spite, one of his snowshoes snapped with age, wear and tear. He fell to his knees, he ripped the remains of the shoe with fury, tears starting to freeze on his face. He raised a fist to the heavens and cursed them and everything in them.

He managed to reach home and related the story to a crowd of giggling listeners. Like Homer Simpson, he tells them how he swore at the moon, blaming it for his misfortune. From that day forward he was called Broken Snowshoe Hunter. And, as the generations drifted by, the name stuck with the April full moon, and Great Bison Hunter was long forgotten.

That tiny white dot is the Wolf Moon.

For the actual, possibly real explanation for the Snowshoe Moon, click here.

It occurs to me that snowshoes would have been a good option this morning.

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