Messages from Moonwater

A walk in December to reset a frazzled mind December 13 2016, 0 Comments

It's mid-December. A time of busyness and the typical swirl of emotions that come with the holidays. And the overlay of the transition in the political arena this year adds undercurrents of uncertainty and dis-ease.  

So this week, even though you're too busy, or too tired, or too anything, take yourself outside and walk around the block. Once you're out you may wander further. Cast your gaze up and catch a shooting star and make a wish. Set an intention for one beautiful gesture. One moment of ease. One thought of a loved one or someone who needs a little extra dollop of love. Perhaps it's you.  When you return to your warm house I hope you feel refreshed and inspired. 

The Geminid meteors are doing their dance, peaking on the 12th and 13th. I love these meteors because at this time of year, there's a crystalline quality to the air. This December though, there will be a full moon lighting your way so it may be very difficult to see them. If you do, count yourself blessed. 

Happy Holidays and much love to you.

The Gift of the Geminids December 12 2015, 0 Comments

Over the next several nights our paths cross with the Geminids. We are blessed with a New Moon and a long night — perfect meteor-viewing aspects. I always hope for breaks in the clouds to see these winter meteors. 

I first saw them on a crisp cold December beach walk. Our beach walks typically amble north, to the point, which is where to look in the sky for this shower. I didn't know at the time this was one of the nights for the shower.

Surprised by a long bright shooting star that caught the corner of my eye. Was it? Look there's one. As we continued along out to the dragon and back, we saw a scant few. The exertion had warmed us enough, we decided to sit at the lookout couch just above the beach until we had seen five more.

This time with my son home from college was so treasured. Even if I became chilled, I'd not break the spell of time with him. No distractions from a wandering conversation about life and the mysteries it lays before us, while we looked up for a fleeting bit of magic in the sky.

Look there's one!

. . . . .. . . . .. . . . ...  . . . .   ...

The Geminids peak Sunday evening this year. Bundle up and find a beautiful dark place to enjoy them.

Comet trash is night sky treasure Friday, May 23rd May 23 2014, 0 Comments

What good fortune that the first night of a holiday weekend — Memorial Day weekend, no less — we are blessed with a new meteor shower. The nearly unpronouncable Camelopardalid meteor shower. 

Predicted but not certain, astronomers guardedly optimistic. The good news is that those of us in North America have the best chance of catching it Friday evening and early Saturday morning . We'll pass through comet debris and with luck comet trash will be turned into night sky watcher's treasure.

So get outside tonight and witness a new star gazing event. Look toward the North Star. Here's a short video from NASA.

As for me, I'll be kayaking and pausing to look up. Dark waters and waning crescent moon allow for the good contrast of a dark sky to showcase any shooting stars.

Sending blessings and love to those who are skipping on the stars this weekend.


Imagining the Lyrids April 22 2014, 0 Comments

Today is Earth Day and I wanted to do a poetic post about getting outside to celebrate the Earth and the beautiful sky that provides us with a show every night. Especially on this night. Yesterday and tonight are the prime times to view the Lyrid meteor showers that grace us with their appearance each April.

But tonight's forecast is cloudy for our Seattle skies. I've lived here long enough to know you get outside anyway because forecasts are often wrong for a percentage of the time.
70% chance of rain means 30% chance of no rain, right? Glass half full?

Still it's looking like our opportunity to see one of the better meteor showers of the year is not likely for those of us in the Seattle region. For Moonwater fans in other drier climes, please get yourselves outside tonight to catch some falling stars. The best times are reported to be before dawn on the 22nd and through dawn on the 23rd. 

The Lyrids are bright often leaving trails and usually about 10 -20 but sometimes surges to 100 per hour. Look near Vega in the constellation Lyra to see them in the east.

Here's where to look in the sky:

Image courtesy of

Regardless of the weather, I will wake before dawn, go up on the roof and look east, because shooting stars remind me of magic—imagining of our loved ones racing across the heavens. 




The Big Summer Light Show This Weekend August 08 2013, 0 Comments

The Perseid meteor shower is a favorite in the Northern Hemisphere. Occurring in the clear skies of August, the shower usually offers up to 60 bright meteors an hour.

For those of us on the west coast, the peak is in the daytime of the 12th, so the show may not be as intense as in years past. This shower is a long one though, so you’ll get the chance to see random shooting stars over several days. It’s a great time for the outdoors with friends and family, where you can sit back after a long day of hiking and enjoy the show.

Make sure to mark your Moonwater calendar on the nights of August 11-13! 


Thanks to Jeff Rose for this great photo.


The Moon Hulahooping Around the Earth April 16 2013, 0 Comments

Yesterday the Moon was at "Apogee"– the farthest point from the earth in its monthly rotation. It has less gravitational pull at apogee so you see lower variation in the high/low tide levels and lower tides in general. The low yesterday for Seattle was 0.1 and the high was 10.5.  The opposite holds true for when it's at "Perigee" — closest to the Earth. The next perigee will be on April 27th. The low on that day will be minus – 2.6 for Seattle and the high will be + 11.9.

Our oceans are pulled this way and that in accordance with the hulahooping cycle of the moon. 

Another Sky Note: The Lyrid Meteor Showers are coming up this weekend. They'll be peaking just before dawn on Monday April 22nd. Starting today and through the week when you walk at night you may catch a shooting star! 

A perfect dark sky for the Geminid shower December 10 2012, 0 Comments

This week we have a perfect combo for meteor watching:
A new moon dark sky canvas on which to paint the colorful Geminid meteors!

For some, the Geminids is a favorite shower because these meteors have different colors and are plentiful at 50 or more per hour. Its display rates up there with the Perseids in August as the best of the year, if the moon is dark.

You can watch from late night around 10pm through to the wee hours of the morning of December 13-14th. The peak should be around 2 a.m. is when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky as seen around the world. 

Let's hope for a clear sky. Get your warmest sleeping bag, a thermos of hot toddy or cocoa and a comfortable lawn chair and enjoy the show with your kids or loved ones. What better legit reason to stay up late on a school night?


It's not too late to order your 2013 Moon & Meteor Shower Calendars or Night Sky Note cards.

New Moon, new beginnings — Introducing Moonwater November 13 2012, 0 Comments

New moon, new beginnings

I’ve always been passionate about natural cycles and understanding how they quietly influence our everyday lives as earth-bound, carbon-based, water-filled creatures. I love tuning in to changes in the moon and the tides, watching the ways they shift and shape the world. And I just can't help sharing my enthusiasm with others. Thus, Moonwater. 

One way I express my delight is through designing calendars that depict the lunar phases. (No calendar is complete without them in my book.)  I often include curious tidbits of all sorts about history, science, etc. Over the years I’ve taken to giving them to friends and family for the holidays. And every year, without fail, I hear the same thing “I always learn so much from your calendars! You really should market them!” So now I am.

The 2013 Moon & Meteor Monthly Calendar is the first of a series I’m developing for Moonwater. I designed this particular version as a guide to full and new moons. My hope is that it will inspire you and yours to get out and spend a little time under the night sky. Who knows? You may even catch a shooting star.