Messages from Moonwater

Philately and the moon—an interactive solar eclipse experience May 22 2017, 0 Comments

I'm a designer. So I love when my interests in the moon and sky intersect with the world of design — this time in stamps. 

I love physical mail. Postcards from far off places; handwritten letters and cards; magazines of all types are presents of visual delight arriving at my doorstep. What could be better?  I always make the postal worker take out the plastic sleeve of pretty stamp options rather than getting a roll of 50 flag ones. So imagine my excitement when I heard about a stamp designed specifically for this year's solar eclipse! 

It's not only a beautiful design. It's interactive. Something magical happens when you press it down on the envelope. 

USPS Solar Eclipse stamp

Here's more information about the stamp which will be available on June 20th. See you in line at your nearest post office.

Meanwhile mark your calendar for August 21st for the solar eclipse.

 


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.


We owe our life to the Moon (and puddles...) January 11 2016, 0 Comments

I’ll begin this year’s posts with an audacious statement:

We owe life itself to the moon.

And water.

Well, actually the puddles left by the tides.

I’m no scientist, but in some recent reading about the moon, I discovered a fascinating snippet: We actually owe life on Earth to the moon. Crazy huh?

Here’s the story: When the moon was formed it caused a fluctuation in the Earth’s orbit, which eventually slowed down Earth’s rotation and moderated the tides. These changes were essential for forming the biological building blocks of life.

Want proof? Walk along the ocean’s edge and look into a few tide pools. You’ll see a remarkable variety of life in there. As ocean waves splash up on the rocks during high tides, the rocks trap the water and the sun heats it up, gradually creating a concentrated soup that supports the processes necessary for creating life. So puddles are actually little bassinettes for baby life forms! Who knew?

I suspect that at the root of our fascination with the dull rock we know as the moon there may be a deep seated memory of its influence on life as we know it. The Sun is essential for providing light, warmth, and gravity for sure. But it was the Sun and moon together, weaving in and around each other, that eventually produced the right cadence and sequence to create life on Earth; an unbelievable range of creatures, in fact, capable of surviving in an equally astounding range of climatic conditions.

So now when I look up at the moon I say, “Thank you.” for keeping our orbit a little lopsided and for dancing with the Sun to create the beautiful ebb and flow of the tides.

And puddles. Thanks for those, too.

 

 Here is a great article from Scientific American to fill out the story in more scientific detail.


New moon blessed beginning to 2014 December 31 2013, 0 Comments


We start 2014 with a new moon. It also happens to be what they recently call a "Super Moon" meaning the moon happens to be closer to the Earth then normal. This can sometimes cause higher highs and lower low tides. This New Year's we see a very low tide at night. 

New Moon days are great times to rest and reflect on what you want and how to move with intention into the next cycle of days. What's your next best move?

With each passing day over the new two weeks, we get to enjoy a little bit more daylight and moonlight until the Full Moon on the 16th. Gather up your creativity and good intentions and spread a little light around this new year.

Happy 2014 from Moonwater. 


Tonight's Full Moon is Super May 25 2013, 0 Comments

Today's Full Moon is a Super Moon. This is a recently coined term meaning the full moon is near or at Perigee, when the moon is closest to the Earth. Here's wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend with opportunities for no flashlight night walks and beautiful sails as the moon's reflection paints a path across the water.



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.


November’s Full Moon November 28 2012, 0 Comments

The Full Moon this month lands on November 28th. This full moon also includes a deep penumbral eclipse, easily visible to the naked eye, appearing as a dusky shading on the northern half of the Moon.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and most of Asia, you’re in the right place see the eclipse. Alas, the show begins after moonset for the Eastern US and Canada, but those of us on the western side of the continent may be able to catch part of it. Here’s hoping for clear skies around 9 or 10pm here in the West.

Thanks, NASA, for this information.

 

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.