The full moon of December has been nicknamed by some as the “Cold Moon.” As we are engulfed by the winter solstice, days are at their shortest, yet the full moon travels its longest arc of the year. It is now the winter solstice moon or perhaps the “owls’ long hunt moon.” The longest full moons of the year are occurring right now. Since people tend to be active during the daylight hours it is now the time of the shortest days, yet for the night hunters like owls and coyotes it is a time of their longest periods of activity of the year.
Frozen lakes are silent now but for the muffled sound of a lonely ice auger probing to the water beneath, a meal of cold blooded fish in the offing. For those of us who ice-fish the full moon in December might be called the “crappie moon” or the “pike moon.” Some of us ‘tough it out’ in northern flyover country, embracing what others might call madness as the full moon blazes on a frozen landscape. Cross-country skiing by night is enjoyed by some. Others who hunt predators find it is light enough with the moon shining on the snow to shoot coyotes and foxes at night. Unfortunately for some, it might also be called the “SAD moon.” Seasonal affective disorder affects a number of people during the short days, causing great stress. For all of us as though, the greatest joy is looking forward to the longer days that follow our December foray into the long dark.