May 2024 Full Flower Moon

May’s full Flower Moon occurs in the morning on May 23, 2024, at exactly 9:53AM EDT.  This is the moment the Sun and Moon are on exact opposite sides of the Earth. For us the Moon will be below the horizon by this time.  Being able to see a full Moon at the exact moment it is 100% illuminated depends on your location.  The full Moon alignment happens at one specific moment in time, regardless of the time of day of any particular location.  Since half of Earth is always facing the Sun, a full Moon will always occur during the day in some locations, while it is night in others.  For those of us who really want to see the full Flower Moon there are no worries. The Moon looks fully illuminated for a few days before and after the actual alignment. So, weather permitting we’ll be able to see a full Flower Moon rising the evenings of May 22 and 23.

The Flower Moon heralds the coming of warmer weather – wildflowers are blooming, trees and bushes are leafing out, migrating birds are returning, butterflies and moths appear, and baby animals of all kinds are being born.  Surrounded by the beauty of spring it is the Algonquin people who have been given credit for the Flower Moon name – a name which honors all the beautiful and colorful wildflowers.  Although Flower Moon is the most common name for May’s full Moon there are other spring inspired names. The Cree call this Moon the Budding Moon and the Leaf Budding Moon. The Dakota and Lakota people call this Moon the Planting Moon as May is when seeds are planted.  Pacific Northwest tribes call it Camas Blooming Time. The camas is a flowering plant and a traditional food harvested from April through June.  The Choctaw people call it the Mulberry Moon.  There are also animal inspired names for the May Moon like the Oglala name Moon of the Shedding Ponies.  All these names reflect the changes warmer weather brings.  Enjoy the Full Flower Moon, perhaps take a night hike and experience nature at night under a full Moon.

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