Harvest Moon

You know how occasionally, the rising moon appears to be HUGE over the horizon, and glows orange in the sky?  In September, we call it the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon that happens closest to the autumnal equinox, or the first day of autumn. This year, the Harvest Moon reached full phase on September 23, so Brian and I packed a picnic and took the kids up to Rocky Butte to watch it rise.

I usually just notice a gorgeous big full moon as I happen to be driving somewhere, so it felt kind of special to set aside time in our lives to actually wait for it and appreciate it. The moon isn’t actually bigger, of course, it just appears bigger because we’re seeing it through the layers of atmosphere close to the earth.

It’s also special because of the way the Earth is angled in the fall – the moon is rising at the same time the sun is setting (without a period of darkness in between) so the moon is all full of glow-y brightness as it rises and catches the last golden beams of the sun. I’m neither a scientist nor an astronomer, so my pedestrian explanation will have to do. If you want to learn more about the Harvest Moon, here’s a good resource.

Family picnic on Rocky Butte in Portland, OR on September 18, 2013 ©MostlyMommyhood

Family picnic on the grass!

Eric, and the eastern horizon behind him at Rocky Butte in Portland, OR 9/18/2013, waiting on the Harvest Moon ©MostlyMommyhood

Eric, and the eastern horizon behind him (where we expected the Harvest Moon to rise at any moment)

My gorgeous girl in golden sunlight on Rocky Butte in Portland OR 9/18/2013 ©MostlyMommyhood

My gorgeous girl in golden sunlight

self portrait on Rocky Butte in Potland, Oregon, and the northern horizon ©MostlyMommyhood

Sunset couple selfie! doesn’t Brian look startled?


Harvest Moon as seen from Rocky Butte in Portland, OR on September 18, 2013 ©MostlyMommyhood

And finally – the Harvest Moon. I expected it to look bigger. Does it appear normally sized because we were up on Rocky Butte? Would it have seemed much larger from sea level?? Oh well – it was still gorgeous, and gave us an excuse for a fun family outing!


We had a great time enjoying the sunset and moonrise with the kids. It really is special to take time to appreciate these moments in time as a family!


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