Monday, February 9, 2009

February Moonbeams

The February chapter of Walk When the Moon is Full has a lovely little "town mouse/country mouse" feature. The children saw a rabbit eating the tops of the birch trees which had been bent down during a recent ice storm. They ask if the branches will always stay like that, and the mother tells them they will straighten up again after the ice melts. They tell their mother that they'll ask their father in the summertime what has eaten the tops of the trees, and the mother says,

"Your father is a woodsman and hard to fool, but let's see what someone from the city says when we tell him rabbits have eaten our treetops." When Grandma came to visit in the spring, the children took her straight to the birch trees, and Alan asked, "What ate those treetops?" Grandma said, "squirrels of course." "Fooled you! Fooled you!" both children shouted. "It was rabbits and we watched them."

This got me thinking about all the knowledge we absorb as we are growing up. I have a friend who lives in the city now, but she grew up in the country and knows all the flowers and trees. I, who grew up in town - even though a rural town, never learned any of these things until I moved to the country, and I've had to carry flower and tree identification books along with me for years. I'm getting there. I've learned a lot. But I'll never know all my friend knows. Her country knowledge is part of her; not something she had to try to learn. She absorbed it from walks and talks with her country mother.

The Lunar Calendar tells us that this month's full moon is exciting because there is a "penumbral lunar eclipse" which occurred in the early morning hours today (Monday). And nearly 90% of the lunar surface will be "cast in Earth's shadow."

penumbra
the partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object.
In astronomy - the shadow cast by the earth or moon over an area experiencing a partial eclipse.

8 comments:

  1. This is neither here nor there, but I have been particularly aware of the moon last night and this morning...particularly bright and white, it seems to me. I grew up on the outskirts of a large city, jumbo jets and exhaust filled the air...but one of my teachers taught us a few constellations and I still search for them on clear nights, just like old friends. And I know a dandelion when I see one since we had them in abundance in our suburban lawn! :)

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  2. Mibsy, I am a big, big fan of dandy-lions!

    all learned things from childhood are wonderful!

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  3. I lived in a town, but spent most of my days in the country riding horses, and raising rabbits :)
    I learned more from being around my Equestrian riding uncle, than anything I was taught in town....or maybe I just wanted to remember the country stuff ?
    Yes, I'm a country girl at heart.

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  4. A Brit in TN, I'd love to have spent my childhood riding horses. We had a dear old quarterhorse for a lot of years out here at the farm, and though he wasn't ridden much, he was much loved.

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  5. I'm sorry that I didn't manage to pass on more of what country lore I knew to my sons when they were children. Since they got interested in growing vegetables, though, I'm delighted to find myself being asked to identify a wildflower from time to time. Apparently it's never too late.

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  6. I love that, G. Cat! Of course it's never too late. A lot of times the opportunity has to be just right for learning and absorbing. I've enjoyed my kids asking some nature questions too when they come back home and notice something.

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