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Summer Good Times

Howl at the Full Moon

When summer comes, can fun be far behind? We hope not. With 15 weeks stretching before us, summer seems endless. But it will slip away unappreciated unless you reach out and grab the pleasures it offers. Don’t let it get away! For each of those 15 weeks, we feature one fine way to have fun. I bet you’ve got more. To share your ideals for summer fun, email stories and photos to editor@bayweekly.com


Week 1, May 29-June 4: Howl at the Full Moon

    Earth’s only natural satellite is the moon, and it’s been earth’s companion for a long time, about 4.5 billion years. In that time, the moon has become tidally locked to earth. This means that it rotates at the same speed it orbits the earth, and the same side is always facing us. But the phases of the moon stem from its relation to the sun, and those phases remain a lively part of stargazing. Since our months range from 28 to 31 days, and it takes the moon 281⁄2 days to orbit earth, the full moon falls on a different day every month but always rises at sunset and sets at sunrise.
    This summer has four full moons: June 2, July 2, July 31 and August 29. The moon of July 31 is a blue moon, the second full moon in one month. 
    Look with binoculars for an extra stunning view of earth’s companion.
    Why howl at the full moon? The link is buried in the human imagination.
    Wolves and the moon are connected in many ancient civilizations. The Greek and Roman goddesses of the moon have wolves for company. The Seneca tribes of North America believe the moon was sung into existence by a wolf.
    It isn’t surprising that wolves are associated with the moon since they’re nocturnal creatures, but their howling actually has nothing to do with the heavenly body. Wolves howl for practical reasons like defending their territory and rallying their pack. When they howl, they point their heads to the sky to amplify their voices. Wolves face the moon, but their calls have an earthly purpose.