This article is presented by Beaver County Auto and Rochester Manor+Villa

History of the Beaver Moon


The next full moon will rise this Friday, November 3rd, 2017 and crest on November 4th at 1:23 AM.

Native Algonquian tribes living in New England gave the Beaver Moon its name, which was later adopted by European settlers. Native Americans named each moon to mark the following month and indicate the change in season. November’s full moon was called the Beaver Moon because it was the last full moon before beaver trapping season ended. It alerted trappers that they only had until the next full moon to trap beavers for their warm pelts before the waters froze in winter. Other names for the November moon were the Geese Going Moon and the Frost Moon.

What is a Full Moon?

A full moon occurs when moonrise is closest to sunset, allowing the setting sun to illuminate the face of the rising moon. The moon produces no light of its own, and “moonlight” is a term for light reflected off of the moon’s surface. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, only 10% of the sunlight shining on the full moon reflects off of it. The amount of light that reaches Earth also depends on air quality and the height of the moon in the sky.

November is a Month for Accomplishments

For many Native American cultures, the month of November signified the last lunar cycle of accomplishments before winter. Today, most people aren’t out trapping beavers for warmth, but many 30-day challenges are prevalent during this month.

If you’d like a new challenge to complete before winter arrives, try NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. It challenges anyone, not just professional writers, to finish a 50,000-word first draft (1,667 words per day) by December 1st.

Another popular option is No Shave November, where participants start out the month clean-shaven and don’t shave again until the month is over, donating the money they would have spent on shaving products to the various cancer-research foundations.

Not a fan of either of those? Gaze up at the Beaver moon this Friday night and think about what you’d like to achieve before the next full moon. Write it down and keep it somewhere visible to remind you throughout this lunar cycle.

A Beaver County Community Hike Underneath the Beaver Moon

If you’d like to hike underneath the Beaver Moon, the Wampum Chapter of the North Country Trail is hosting an evening hike Sunday, November 5th at 8:30 pm. The walk will be moderate in difficulty and 2.5 miles spanning from the Mills Run Trailhead to the Hippy Bridge and back. This event is free and open to the public, no registration required. After the hike, enjoy a warm fire and free cider under the Beaver Moon and chat with other hikers. Make sure to dress for the weather and wear shoes suitable for hiking on uneven terrain, and bring water and a flashlight.

Directions taken from the North Country Trail Website: “The street address for the Watt’s Mill Rd. trailhead is 478 Watt’s Mill Rd., Darlington, PA.  Remember to approach from the south via Rt. 168, Hodgson, and Sterling Roads, or come the whole way up Watt’s Mill Rd. from Route 251 as the vehicle bridge over Little Beaver Creek is closed to traffic.”

Are you planning on doing some moon gazing this weekend? Do you hope to accomplish a specific goal before the next full moon? Let me know in the comments!

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Emily Herschl
Emily is a freelance writer and artist inspired by the natural world and the human mind. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Studies, and loves coffee shops, snuggling with her rescued Pit Bull, and cracking jokes. Find samples of her writing and artwork on her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilyherschl

Instagram: @emilyherschl
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