autumn-06

When Autumn comes, it sometimes comes in a blink of an eye.  One day it is summer and then the next, you notice a subtle crispness in the air.  Then it is pumpkin-spice time, chunky knitted sweaters and knee-high boots are everywhere.  This is the work of the Autumn Equinox. It is also known as Michaelmas, Mabon, and Harvest Home.  It comes without any fanfare.  We pass it on the calendar in its small print in a blink of an eye.

This year, the Autumn Equinox happens approximately at 10:26am EDT on Thursday 22 September 2016.  The sun will rise at 6:44am and set at 6:52pm, giving us 8 minutes more of daylight over night.  The equinoxes happen at the same moment everywhere.  More light is called equilux(“lux” being Latin for light).

Autumnal Equinox Illustration
Autumnal Equinox Illustration

 

Depending on what side of the equator you live, you have different seasons than the opposite side.  The equinox in September in the north is known as the Autumnal(fall) equinox and the one in the south is known as the vernal(spring) equinox.  Each year has two equinoxes, September and March, when the sun shines directly on the equator and length of day and night are almost equal on both sides of the equator.  This equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator-the imaginary line above the Earth’s equator-from North to South.  This can happen on either September 22, 23, or 24 every year.

Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant
Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant

The angle at which the Earth is tilted at is 23.4º, to the ecliptic, or the imaginary plane Earth’s path creates around the sun.

Both hemispheres are always tilt a little towards the sun on any other day of the year, but on these two days, the Earth’s axis is always perpendicular towards the sun, as illustrated in the picture above.

On the Equinox, the night and day are nearly the same-12 hours-all over the world.  Equinox is derived from the Latin word aequus,  eqi meaning “equal” and nox meaning “night”.  Despite this being commonly accepted definition, in reality, equinoxes don’t exactly have 12 hours of daylight.  If you want to read more about why they don’t have exactly 12 of day, please click HERE.

hello autumn!
hello autumn!

Until December, the days get shorter until the Winter solstice, when the light will make its slow creep back to long summer days.  Technically, Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, compared to the summer solstice in June, which has the longest sunlight.

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Due to the fact that it takes Earth 365.25 days to orbit the Sun and why we have a leap year every year, the precise time of the equinox varies every year.  But usually it happens six hours later on each successive year.  On leap years though, the date jumps back an entire day.

Male Siberian Hamster
Male Siberian Hamster

Brilliant leaves and geomagnetic storms aren’t the only things that ramp up around the time of the autumnal equinox.  The creature world also does too.  Animals at high latitudes also go through biological changes with the changing of the seasons.  For example, the Siberian hamster, experiences the growth of their testes of up to 17 times their normal size in days leading up to when the days get shorter.

The Japanese traditionally mark both the Spring and Autumn Equinox with higan, higan-festivala seven-day period where they honor and remember their ancestors by visiting their graves by cleaning graves and offering flowers and foods, and burning incense sticks and praying.

 

 

 

Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.
Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.

In Poland, the Polish celebrate the Polish Festival of Greenery bring bouquets of flowers and foods to a priest for a blessing, and then using them for medicine or keeping them until the following year’s harvest.  The Roman celebration of the Fall Equinox was dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things

A well-fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble on the fields after the harvest is traditionally feasted on.  Ginger is also part of the tradition too.  Every single piece of food that is served that day at the feast is seasoned with ginger from gingerbread to ginger beer.

The last piece of corn that was harvested was made into a doll in England,corn-huskdolls representing the “spirit of the field”.  Drenched in water, this would represent rain or they were burned, representing the death of the spirit of the grain.  Large wickerwork figures are burned in a mock sacrifice or constructed to present a vegetarian spirit.  The large wickerwork figures also represented those two factors as well.  Farmers and merchants gathered at fairs.  Often there would be a large glove was suspended above the fair, symbolizing  the handshake of promises and open-handedness and generosity.

 

Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015
Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015

The “burning man” has seen a revival in the US.  It is celebrated at the end of summer.  It is an enthusiastic festival of performance arts and creativity.  Participating in your own burning man celebration is a powerful way to connect with humanity, past and present.

 

 

Autumn is a great time to still get out and do many activities before having to stay inside all winter.  This is just a small sampling of the many activities celebrated worldwide to usher in the annual Autumn Equinox.

How do you celebrate Autumn Equinox?  Do you look forward to autumn?  Please continue the conversation below.  If you liked this post, click “like” below and share to your favorite social networks.   I hope you enjoyed this post.  Thanks!

 

Till next time…

xo-heather

Last year about this time, I discovered this amazing and unique animal called the Cassowary bird, which is Australia’s biggest species.  If you click the link, you can read more in-depth about this species.

Southern Cassowary
Southern Cassowary

 

I started following the cassowaryrecoveryteam‘s blog last year which sends out updates every couple of weeks.

This week’s’ post is about World Cassowary Day 2016.  Why is this important, you ask?  Why am posting this, you might be wondering?

If you read the post I wrote last year, you may see that these birds are charismatic and fascinating creatures.  They are truly a living dinosaur.  The Cassowary bird is considered a keystone species by conservationists.  They maintain the diversity of the rainforest, and play a key role in maintaining the ecological balance in the rainforest.

Cassowary & chick
Cassowary & chick

They have also become cultural icons for the wider community and an important part of the local landscape and identity of the Wet Tropics community.  the recently amalgamated Cassowary Coast Regional Council has adopted the cassowary as a part of their logo and corporate identify.

southern cassowary
southern cassowary

The Southern Cassowary Casuarius(casuarius johnsonii) is listed as a threatened species internationally and under State and Commonwealth legislation in Australia. The southern cassowary is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

cassowarystickersmall

World Cassowary Day will be held in the Daintree this year from 10am to 2pm on 24 August 2016.  It will be at the Daintree Rainforest Observatory, 3701 Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation, Australia.  There will be complimentary free parking and there will be signs posted for directions to the observatory.  Activities include over 30 stalls about cassowaries and other wildlife, music performances, wildlife displays, face painting, and other activities for the kids.  There will be speakers there presenting on topics such as the world’s three different species of cassowaries, the Daintree blockade, tracking cassowaries through their poo, cassowary seed dispersal, conserving cassowary habit and a history of cassowary conservation.  The film, No Wabu, No Wuju, No Gunduy (No Rainforest, No Food, No Cassowary) will be shown.  For more on World Cassowary Day, click HERE.

 

World Cassowary Day 2016
World Cassowary Day 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you live in Australia near there or are going to be in Australia near there on those dates, I highly recommend checking this out.

Here is a video with a bit of information on the Cassowary and some up close and personal encounter with one.

Have you ever met a Cassowary?  Have you ever attended a World Cassowary Day or plan to attend this years?  I’d love for you to comment below and continue the conversation.  If you liked this post, please like and share.  Thanks🙂

Till next time…

xo-heather

The Táin

The Cattle-Raid of Cooley (Táin Bó Cúalnge)
The Cattle-Raid of Cooley (Táin Bó Cúalnge)

Enduring yet another sleepless, angsty, migraine, allergy-filled night, I was trolling YouTube and I happened upon this video called “The Tain” by the Decemberists.  This is definitely something I have never seen nor heard before, so I thought I would share it with you guys.  I like folklore, history, and the like, and I think you will like this epic piece of prose as much as I did.  Read the story about it before you watch the video if you aren’t familiar with it.

Táin Bó Cúailnge (Irish pronunciation: [t̪ˠaːnʲ boː ˈkuəlʲɲə]; “the driving-off of cows of Cooley”, commonly known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley or The Táin) is a legendary tale from early Irish literature, often considered an epic, although it is written primarily in prose rather than verse. It tells of a war against Ulster by the Connacht queen Medb and her husband Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge, opposed only by the teenage Ulster hero Cú Chulainn.

Traditionally set in the 1st century AD in an essentially pre-Christian heroic age, the Táin is the central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. It survives in three written versions or “recensions” in manuscripts of the 12th and later centuries, the first a compilation largely written in Old Irish, the second a more consistent work in Middle Irish, and the third an Early Modern Irish version.

The Táin is preceded by a number of remscéla, or pre-tales, which provide background on the main characters and explain the presence of certain characters from Ulster in the Connacht camp, the curse that causes the temporary inability of the remaining Ulstermen to fight and the magic origins of the bulls Donn Cuailnge and Finnbhennach. The eight remscéla chosen by Thomas Kinsella for his 1969 translation are sometimes taken to be part of the Táin itself, but come from a variety of manuscripts of different dates. Several other tales exist which are described as remscéla to the Táin, some of which have only a tangential relation to it.

The first recension begins with Ailill and Medb assembling their army in Cruachan, the purpose of this military build-up taken for granted. The second recension adds a prologue in which Ailill and Medb compare their respective wealths and find that the only thing that distinguishes them is Ailill’s possession of the phenomenally fertile bull Finnbhennach, who had been born into Medb’s herd but scorned being owned by a woman so decided to transfer himself to Ailill’s. Medb determines to get the equally potent Donn Cuailnge from Cooley to equal her wealth with her husband. She successfully negotiates with the bull’s owner, Dáire mac Fiachna, to rent the animal for a year until her messengers, drunk, reveal that they would have taken the bull by force even if they had not been allowed to borrow it. The deal breaks down, and Medb raises an army, including Ulster exiles led by Fergus mac Róich and other allies, and sets out to capture Donn Cuailnge.

The men of Ulster are disabled by an apparent illness, the ces noínden (literally “debility of nine (days)”, although it lasts several months). A separate tale explains this as the curse of the goddess Macha, who imposed it after being forced by the king of Ulster to race against a chariot while heavily pregnant. The only person fit to defend Ulster is seventeen-year-old Cú Chulainn, and he lets the army take Ulster by surprise because he’s off on a tryst when he should be watching the border. Cú Chulainn, assisted by his charioteer Láeg, wages a guerrilla campaign against the advancing army, then halts it by invoking the right of single combat at fords, defeating champion after champion in a stand-off lasting months. However, he is unable to prevent Medb from capturing the bull.

Cú Chulainn is both helped and hindered by supernatural figures. Before one combat the Morrígan visits him in the form of a beautiful young woman and offers him her love, but he spurns her. She then reveals herself and threatens to interfere in his next fight. She does so, first in the form of an eel who trips him in the ford, then as a wolf who stampedes cattle across the ford, and finally as a heifer at the head of the stampede, but in each form Cú Chulainn wounds her. After he defeats his opponent, the Morrígan appears to him in the form of an old woman milking a cow, with wounds corresponding to the ones Cú Chulainn gave her in her animal forms. She offers him three drinks of milk. With each drink he blesses her, and the blessings heal her wounds.

After a particularly arduous combat he is visited by another supernatural figure, Lugh, who reveals himself to be Cú Chulainn’s father. Lugh puts Cú Chulainn to sleep for three days while he works his healing arts on him. While Cú Chulainn sleeps the youth corps of Ulster come to his aid but are all slaughtered. When Cú Chulainn wakes he undergoes a spectacular ríastrad or “distortion”, in which his body twists in its skin and he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. He makes a bloody assault on the Connacht camp and avenges the youth corps sixfold.

After this extraordinary incident, the sequence of single combats resumes, although on several occasions Medb breaks the agreement by sending several men against him at once. When Fergus, his foster-father, is sent to fight him, Cú Chulainn agrees to yield to him on the condition that Fergus yields the next time they meet. Finally there is a physically and emotionally gruelling three-day duel between the hero and his foster-brother and best friend, Ferdiad. Cú Chulainn wins, killing Ferdiad.

Eventually the debilitated Ulstermen start to rouse, one by one at first, then en masse, and the final battle begins. To begin with Cú Chulainn sits it out, recovering from his wounds. Fergus has Conchobar at his mercy, but is prevented from killing him by Cormac Cond Longas, Conchobar’s son and Fergus’ foster-son, and in his rage cuts the tops off three hills with his sword. Finally, Cú Chulainn enters the fray and confronts Fergus, who makes good on his promise and yields to him, pulling his forces off the field. Connacht’s other allies panic and Medb is forced to retreat. She does, however, manage to bring Donn Cuailnge back to Connacht, where the bull fights Finnbhennach, kills him, but is mortally wounded, and wanders around Ireland creating placenames before finally returning home to die of exhaustion.

The image of Cú Chulainn dying, tied to a post so that even in death he might face his enemies standing, a pose which was adopted by early 20th-century Irish republicans[citation needed] and by Ulster loyalists, does not come from the Táin but from a later story. However it has been incorporated into some oral versions of the Táin, in which Cú Chulainn, like Donn Cuailnge, dies from wounds sustained during his final duel with Ferdiad.

The full text can be found here at The Cattle-Raid of Cooley (Táin Bó Cúalnge).  Below is the video of the The Tain EP by the Decemberists.

 

Continue the conversation below!  I encourage you to leave comments, criticisms, feedback, what have you below!  Like this post?  Please tic “like”!  Thanks ☺️

Till next time,

xo-heather

 

I read a lot of things on the internet, especially the paranormal and the unexplained.  Whether it’s fact or fiction, I like a good and intriguing story.  I came across this one the other day that I thought you might be interested in.  I will leave it up to you to decide.

dtgr
The Devil’s Tramping Ground, near the Harper’s Crossroads area in Bear Creek, North Carolina.

The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a camping spot in a forest near the Harper’s Crossroads area in Bear Creek, North Carolina. It has been the subject of persistent local legends and lore, which often allege that the Devil “tramps” and haunts a barren circle of ground in which nothing can grow. It has often been noted on lists of unusual place names.

Strange stories are known locally about the ring.  Such stories are that dogs yap and howl, things left in the middle of it disappear overnight, and strange events occur to those brave enough to spend the night in the middle of it.  In the past 100 years, nothing has grown within 40 feet of it.  Legend has it that this is the very place that the Devil himself can rise from the fiery depths of hell, and come to earth.  On certain nights, the Devil supposedly able to walk in circles here and bring evil to this world.

Legend has it that people who spend the night in this circle are never sane again.  Many people have reported strange shadows among the treeline watching them.  They’ve also seen pairs of red eyes from within the circle and the sound of footsteps in and around the area.  Teens especially like to test their bravery.  One teen recounted his experience when he and his friends stood in the circle, “It felt like a large hand rose from the ground and grabbed my heart.  I fell to my knees…it hurt so bad…I couldn’t move.”  It wasn’t until he apologized to the entity for trespassing that he was finally released.

There is also other legends that state the vengeful spirits of the Waxhaw Indians were slaughtered and buried there beneath the infertile soul hundreds of years ago.  Their restless spirits now kill anything that spends too much time on their grave.

Animals completely avoid the circle.  A visitor’s dog choked itself on its leash to avoid the middle of the circle.  Others have witnessed small animals dying on the edge of the circle.

witches in woods1
cult of satanic worshippers in woods

There have also been reports of satanic rituals taking place within the circle.  During the 1970s and 80s, it is believed that a small cult of devil worshippers used the area for the sacrifice of animals in unholy worship.

 

 

lady dtgr
The Devil’s Tramping Ground back in the 1950s

However, the camping spot is in fact mostly bare, though there is some vegetation, as indicated in the photo above.  Objects as well as campers have stayed and remained in the circle overnight.  The site is often littered with trash, beer cans, and bottles, as well as “spooky” spray-painting on nearby trees.  All of which suggest that the local youth are the “nighttime” trampers.

road signThe Devil’s Tramping Ground is said to be a perfect circle, 40 feet across, the perimeter of which is a path about a foot wide.  It is about 50 miles south of Greensboro off a quiet, tree-lined country road.  It is apparently not easy to find and be ready for some mild off-road hiking, rural driving, and super-natural phenomenon.

 

 

Fact or fiction?  I leave it up to you to decide.  If you like this post, please tic “like”.  I always welcome feedback from my post or anything else in the comments below.

Till next time~

xo-heather

In Old English, September is called Haervest-monath(Harvest Month).  This is time when the harvest is gathered, ready and put up for the winter months.  September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven”.  This month

Mary Howitt quote meme

 

This year, Labor Day, (the first Monday in September), falls on the 5th.  Did you know Canadians also celebrate Labour Day as well?

Patriot Day is observed in the U.S. on 11 September or 9/11.

patriots day

Grandparents’ Day is also celebrated on 11 September  too!  Please honor your grandparents(if you still have them) today and every day.  I have two Grandma’s left whom are alive and kicking in their 80s!🙂

grandparents-day-1-550x320

Fall is right around the corner!  The Autumnal Equinox falls on 23 September this year.  At this moment, there is an equal amount of daylight and darkness hours in a day.  Find you current sunrise and sunset HERE.

Seasonearth_copy.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smart

The month is then wrapped up on 29 September with Michealmas, an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day”.  This day was marked with the end of the harvesting and steeped heavily in folklore.

St. Micheal
St. Micheal

Some seasonal all-time favorites to bake would be:

Apple Pie Recipe by Grandma Ople
Apple Pie Recipe by Grandma Ople

 

Autumn Cheesecake Recipe
Autumn Cheesecake Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a great time Martins on TM12 300to prepare winter bird seed for those of our feathered friends who stay around in the winter.

 

 

Full Harvest Moon
Full Harvest Moon

 

 

The Full Harvest Moon will be making its annual appearance on 16 September 2016 3:05P.M. EST.  There will also be other night sky events going on this month as well.

 

Some Folklore For This Month:

  • Heavy September rains bring drought
  • September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft
  • Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go
  • If the storms of September clear off warm,  the storms of the following winter will be warm
  • Fair on September 1st, fair for the month
September's Flower-Asteraceae(Aster amellus)
September’s Flower-Asteraceae(Aster amellus)
Sapphire, September's Birth Stone, which was once thought to guard against poisioining and evil
Sapphire, September’s Birthstone, which was once thought to guard against poisoning and evil
September's other flower, the Morning Glory(Convolvulaceae)
September’s other flower, the Morning Glory(Convolvulaceae)

 

fall is here
I’m excited! Are you?

What are you looking forward to(or baking) this fall?  I’d love for you to continue the conversation below.  And if you’ve liked this post, please tic like below and give it a share if you’ve really liked it.  Thanks🙂

Till next time~

xo-heather

It’s Been Quite Some Time…

well hello there gorgeous

It’s been quite some time since I last posted.  Last October in fact!   I was kinda disinterested in maintaining this blog and lack all motivation in keeping this going.

My priorities have changed now and I think that it is a really good idea to keep this going.  My original intent is still here and I think it is a good thing to have this creative outlet to come to if I need to vent or to simply put something out there.  Blogging is also very therapeutic too as well.

I don’t intend this to be an online diary of my day to day activities.  I have my own personal journal on my nightstand that I put my pen to paper.  I still intend to post own original work here and other things that I love as well as things that inspire me that I hope in turn inspire you as well.  Think of it as a peek into my soul  and to who I am.

I invite you to come follow me, into the wild unknown.  Journey into the depths of a soul, of a story that has many, many levels, that are not always simple, cut & dry.

4f59d81901aebab4456674b7d3921451
Come journey with me…

 

 

Till next time-

xo-heather

 

 

The Full Snow Moon

image

I hope you guys got out last night and caught a glimpse of the Full Snow Moon last night.  What a sight!  Chris got out of work last night about quarter to 10 last night and even though he worked doubles, 12 hours, straight through with no break, he offered to take me out to somewhere that offered an unobstructed view.

First, we stopped at Country Fair for something quick to eat along the way and decided to drive up to Phieffer Nature Center on top of Lillibridge road in Portville.  There is a big open field and ranges in elevation from 1,900 to 2,300 feet above sea level along a steep valley wall that faces west.  The views are spectacular and on a clear day you can see twenty-two miles west to the peaks of Allegany State Park.  Totally unobstructed and none of those pesky power lines that always “photobomb” my pictures here at the house.

image

It was pretty cold out so we didn’t stay long.  I got a dozen or so shots, a good group to choose from. 

Did you happen to see Jupiter was out?  The bright object in the sky below it to the left was Jupiter.  I got some shots of it too but either my camera is not powerful enough to capture it or I just don’t know how to shoot star and galaxy’s.

image

Did you get any amazing pictures last night?  Did you see the Full Snow Moon last night?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.  If you liked this post, please like, share, and follow my blog if you haven’t already.  I’m trying to get a 100 followers by Spring.  Thanks!

image

Namaste!
Posted from WordPress for Android Google Nexus 10