The first full moon of the new year is known as a ‘Wolf Moon’. Wolves are breeding now and their night time howls are part of that mating ritual. The nearest we got to seeing predatory activity in the middle of the night was at this time last year when Kim, on her way to the bathroom, caught sight in the full moonlight of a dog fox elegantly acing through our yard. It is said that their rabbit kill rate tends to increase with greater illumination, though I also think their prey must be better placed to see them coming and have a better chance of escape! In Buddhism, other eastern religions and native north American folklore rabbits or hares replace the European ‘Man in the Moon’ interpretation of lunar surface markings.
The ancient association of odd behaviour and mania with the waxing moon is of course well known. ‘Lunacy’ derives from Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon, who rides her silver chariot across the heavens each night. Kim & I seemed to be subject to more disturbed sleep patterns than normal on the night of the most recent lunar eclipse (10/11 Jan). Waking early I mistook moonlight seeping in around window blind and skylight shutters for the early dawn so prepared to rise, only realising otherwise when I was sufficiently awake to check my bedside watch. Never mind, the views from the garden windows, of utter stillness in highlighted definition, brought a calming sense of wonder, an eventual return to bed and renewed slumber.