If one ever needed to run through the woods at night to rescue a fair maiden, doing so with a clear sky and full moon would be the right choice. (If unclear about the “fair maiden” definition, there is an earlier post on that topic.) The light of a full moon can be amazing…although the sun is about 450,000 times brighter than a full moon; a full-moonlit night is 10 times brighter than that of a half-moon. Interestingly, in spite of appearing so white when we look up at it, the moon reflects only about 11 % of the sunlight reaching its surface because the surface is dark, pulverized dust.

Moonlight Walk by Sophia Schmierer

Standing outside during a full moon can be both enrapturing and eerie at the same time. A bright moonlit night presents a world of grays and dark shadows. Although moonlit nights can be exceedingly bright by average nighttime lighting conditions, they aren’t bright enough to stimulate cone cells in the eyes of most people. The retina’s cone cells give detail and color vision. Rod cells come into play for dim conditions. They are very sensitive to light but lack the ability to see color and detail. If we imagine returning to the “running in the woods to rescue a fair maiden” scenario, the ability to see by the light of a full moon will help avoiding running into large trees, but the ability to discern the difference between a German Shepard and Big Foot or the Dogman of Michigan will be impaired.

Moonlight Folklore

  • Those that are werewolves transform into that form on a full moon—This has become a belief as a result of movies and fiction writers that depict those creatures that way. There is no scientific evidence to indicate that the transformation to werewolf only occurs on a full moon.

  • People are more likely to go crazy on a full moon—The word “crazy” is a cruel, demeaning term…“aberrant behavior” is the better descriptive choice. An example of aberrant behavior: Charles Hyde of London committed a series of crimes at the time of a full moon. That case inspired author, Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • Crabbing, shrimping, and clamming are best when the moon is full—Less likely to fall into the water when you can see.
  • Dig your horseradish in the full moon for the best flavor—And I thought it came in a bottle.
  • The fifth day after a full moon is the perfect time to try to conceive a child—No comment.
  • Divination, scrying, seeing, prophesying, etc. is best done on the night of a full moon.


Note: This topic prompted by the following passage in The Field Trip:

Sipping his hot chocolate, he watched Jay over the rim of his cup through the rising steam. Hands tucked behind her head, she lay gazing up at the jeweled night sky while moonlight bathed her face with glowing white. She looked stunning

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