JACKSON, Wyo. — “There’s a full moon rising, let’s go dancing in the light…” the full moon Neil Young made famous in 1992 is rising over Jackson Hole across the next couple of nights.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, September’s full moon will appear full between Sept. 9-11 with peak illumination on Sept. 10 at about 3:58 a.m.
If you’ve been watching the moonrise the past couple of evenings, it’s appearing almost right after sunset, creating a bright moonlight early in the evening. This “extra light” aided farmers during their fall harvest, which is why it’s called the Harvest Moon.
Unlike other full moon names, the Harvest Moon is not associated with a specific month. The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, which falls on Sept. 22 this year, is the Harvest Moon. Depending on the moon cycle, the Harvest Moon can be in either September or October.
Other moon names for September related to the changing of seasons include Autumn Moon (Cree), Falling leaves Moon (Ojibwe), Moon of Brown Leaves (Lakota), Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine).
The full moon also has names referring to animal behaviors during the fall season including, Child Moon (Tlingit) referring to the time when animals are weaned and the Mating Moon (Cree) and Rutting Moon (Cree), which both refer to the fall rut season for moose, elk and deer.
For those hunting this weekend, the basic rule of thumb for the moon phase is the brighter the night, the less daytime activity from elk. Hunters might find success closer to the elk’s bedding area, according to gohunt.com.