The Sky Tonight Update: Full Beaver Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Beaver Moon because this is the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges, having laid up sufficient stores of food for the long winter ahead. During the time of the fur trade in North America, it was also the season to trap beavers for their thick, winter-ready pelts. 

November’s Moon names highlight the actions of animals preparing for winter and the onset of the colder days ahead. Digging (or Scratching) Moon, a Tlingit name, evokes the image of animals foraging for fallen nuts and shoots of green foliage, and of bears digging their winter dens. The Dakota and Lakota term Deer Rutting Moon refers to the time when deer are seeking out mates and the Algonquin Whitefish Moon describes the spawning time for this fish. In reference to the seasonal change of November, this Moon has been called the Frost Moon by the Cree and Assiniboine peoples and the Freezing Moon by the Anishinaabe—for good reason, as winter is right around the corner.

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