The gardens and estates of the Edison and Ford families are especially beautiful by moonlight. Many flowers just bloom in the evening and are visited by nighttime insects and pollinators. Because the September 27-28 Harvest Moon is also a “supermoon” it will appear even larger than usual and produce higher tides. Weather permitting, there is a fall Harvest Moon on September 27 which rises around dusk.
Harvest Moon is just a name but it was used by farmers to kick off the season for gathering the vegetables and getting ready for winter. It’s the name for the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon most often falls in September but sometimes will fall in early October. Nature is particularly cooperative around the time of the autumn equinox to make the full moonrises unique around this time.
On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. When a full moon happens close to the autumnal equinox, the moon (at mid-temperate latitudes) rises only about 30 to 35 minutes later daily for several days before and after the full Harvest Moon. Why? The reason is that the ecliptic – or the moon’s orbital path – makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon around the time of the autumn equinox. The narrow angle of the ecliptic results in a shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moonrises around the full Harvest Moon.
The Moonlight Garden walk will be led by Edison Ford horticulturists. Participants are urged to bring cameras and telescopes.
Call Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Registrar, to register at 239-334-7419. Cost: Edison Ford or Calusa Science Center Members $10; $40 non-members. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pinchers Marina Room downstairs at The Marina at Edison Ford.