Drawing of the Beaver moon, a brown beaver swimming with a branch through a pond, but the pond is also the moon. Art by Anna Loscotoff, 2020

The Full Beaver Moon and Penumbral Eclipse

Castor Canadensis

Safely back in the lodge

Living room you share

A lunch of bark

Golden sharp teeth peeling it skillfully

From the young branch

Before grinding it between your molars

Later that now naked limb will be carefully

Added into the new structure

Your beaver family has begun work on

Andrea Schwenke Wyile

As I sat outside this Thanksgiving, keeping social distance while still enjoying a small gathering of family, I watched as the V formation of geese flew overhead, honking as they made their way south on their winter migration. The geese remind us of the transition of seasons, always having their own clocks, their own maps, oftentimes using the light of the moon to guide them on their way.  

November’s moon is called the Full Beaver moon.  The beaver is settling down, not for hibernation, but storing food for a long winter within their lodges.  Lack of food in winter, as well as frozen lakes and ponds, force the beaver to prepare.  Their pelts are also at their thickest and most luxurious, making this time of year optimal for hunters.  

November’s full moon is also called the Geese Going Moon (as we watch them fly over in their formations), the Frost Moon, the Freezing Moon, and sometimes the Digging (or Scratching) Moon, as animals are scratching through the fallen leaves, trying to find the last bits of growth before winter.  

The moon will hit her fullest at 1:30 in the AM on the morning of November 30th, 2020.  Watch for her the night of November 29th, as she will be on the cusp of her peak.

Not living in an area with beaver, but connecting so deeply with birds, I think Geese Going Moon resonates with me the most deeply. Which of the moon names do you relate to?

Two sounds of Autumn are unmistakable…

The hurrying rustle of crisp leaves

Blown along the street…

By a gusty wind

And the gabble of a flock

Of migrating geese.

– Hal Borland – 

A moon nearing the full rises behind the red leaves of a fall tree.  Photo by Anna Loscotoff, Nov 2020
The moon, near the full, rises behind the changing colors of a tree in Autumn. Photo by Anna Loscotoff, 2020

The Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Penumbral lunar eclipses are not what we imagine when we hear the word eclipse, there isn’t the dramatic disappearance of the moon, the way we often think of a full solar eclipse.  The moon doesn’t change to deep red, the way it will in a total lunar eclipse.  What you will see, however, is what appears to be a slight shadow on the upper rim of the moon.  There may be a slight change in color, depending on the weather, from grey to brown or even a yellow hue.  

The penumbral eclipse will last for just over 4 hours on the morning of November 30th, however the best time to see it is within a 40-minute window, from around 1:24 am (PST) until 2:04 am, with the peak of the eclipse falling around 1:44 in the am.

What is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse?

If you stay up to watch the eclipse, I’d love to know what it looks like for you.  Were you able to see Earth’s shadow? What colors did you see?


About the American Beaver

Busy beavers plan ahead for long cold winter

Castor Canadensis Poem

How do geese know to fly south for the winter?

Lunar eclipses: What are they & when is the next one?

Look for November’s Full Beaver Moon

A Beaver Full Moon lunar eclipse occurs on Monday. Here’s what to expect

November’s Beaver Full Moon 2020: See a lunar eclipse and a near-minimoon

If you are new here, my most important blog

Ritual of the Full Moon

I think of the full moon as a time of letting go.  As the moon loses her roundness, so we release the things that no longer serve us.  

  • Think about the things that are no longer serving you, the things that are hurting you, the things you no longer need in your life.
  • Write the things you wish to let go on small slips of paper or bay leaves.
  • Using a fire-safe bowl in a fire-safe space, a fire pit, or a fireplace, burn these things that you wish to release.  
  • Watch the flame, thinking about these weights being released from you. 
  • When the fire has been extinguished, your thoughts burned, reground with a bit of chocolate, or in honor of the Harvest Moon, hot cider, cinnamon, or tree nuts. 

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