The Harvest Moon

Photo courtesy of NOAA

It's autumn, whether or not it feels like crisp fall and this weekend, we're treated to the harvest moon, larger and brighter than usual in the night sky.  The harvest moon also lasts throughout the night and has been remembered in story, song, and poems from man's earliest time on earth. 

It's celebrated in the famous Vaudeville tune, Shine On Harvest Moon and in the well-known poem by Ted Hughes, who served as British Poet Laurate until his death in 1998.

The Harvest Moon

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,K
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can't sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.
Ted Hughes

I hope the weather cooperates so I can see the harvest moon in its' fully glory this weekend, Saturday or Sunday night.   The harvest moon even got a mention in one of my novels - Kinfolk (Champagne Books 2011)


A full-bellied harvest moon illuminated the farm with a magical light. The orb was a rich butternut shade, a burnt orange that beckoned her outside. Without stopping for shoes, she dashed downstairs and outside where she let the light pour over her skin.

With face upturned to the heavens, she marveled at the beauty of the night sky. Stars dappled the heavens, dimmed by the brilliant moonlight but visible. Beneath her feet, the cold earth was solid and the wind that teased her hair carried a chill portent of winter. Powerful joy at being alive soared through her and she raised both arms as if she could enfold the heavens into her embrace.

Headlights played over her face and she blinked, the mood broken. Ben’s 1963 Chevy pickup slowed as he rolled down the window.

“Is everything all right?”

“Wonderful!” she called. “I came out to see the moonlight. Isn’t it beautiful?”

His profile in the shadows of the truck shifted and she saw him smile. “Pretty. Your feet may freeze, though. It’ll frost tonight. Don’t they have a moon in California?”

“Well, yes, they do.” She wasn’t offended; his tone was teasing.

“I bet you can’t see it through all the smog.”

With care, she took two steps closer to the truck, near enough that she could smell his cigarette smoke. Her giddy joy faded and she felt very tired. It was important, though, that he not find her foolish.

“Please don’t think I’m silly, out mooning over the moon.”

He shook his head and moved so that the moonlight illuminated his face. “I don’t think you’re silly at all, Katy. Good night.”

If he had been closer, she would have kissed him. Her realization rattled her but it also warmed her as she picked her way across the rocky drive to the house. In the morning, the frost he predicted rimed the fields and coated the hay bales near the barn with white.

After the frost, the fine weather broke and it rained. Most of the leaves that had become gold and scarlet and yellow fluttered to the ground and the bare, stark branches seemed as fragile as her heart.



contemporary romantic suspense
Publisher: Champagne Books
Publication Date: July 4, 2011
ISBN: 9781926996332
Format: eBook
Price $5.99

Now also in paperback $14.95

Word Count: 74, 143


When Katherine Vaughn flees California, she returns home to her native Arkansas, a place she barely remembers. As she settles in at the family farm with her aunt, she finds herself growing closer to her late cousin's husband, Ben Hatfield. Ben is a lot more than the country bumpkin she first takes him to be and when the men who threatened her follow her to Arkansas he will rely on his skills as a former Navy SEAL to protect her.
As their feelings toward one another grow, so does the danger and in the end, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen or if anyone will be safe.
Katherine’s life is in jeopardy as she wonders if there is any hope left in her heart.
Kinfolk is a novel about the power of love and the strength of family ties

Purchase Links:
Also available as an ebook at Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Bookstrand as well as Amazon and Champagne Books:


Popular Posts