Lining up the Climate and Selenology

“Even a man who is pure at heart

And says his prayers by night

May become a wolf when the wolfs bane blooms

and Autumn moon is bright”

 

This being October and me celebrating all things weird and Halloweenish, I figured I’d share my annual lycanthropic calendar check.  I have a small patch of wolfs bane (Aconitum napellus, also known as monkshood) in one of our gardens and most years it’s in full bloom sometime in August.  But this year has been a very slow season for some plants owing to all the rain and lack of sunny days and warmth.  I went out today and found that the buds on the wolfs bane were just beginning to form true blooms.

 

Wolfs Bane Coming Into Bloom

 

Looking at my Lunar Calendar I noted that the Hunter’s Full Moon was October 5th.  A full moon is a point of time but reckoners of lunar time assign the three days before and after the actual point as the full moon.  Therefore, tonight is the last night of the full moon and the wolfs bane is actually in bloom.  Hmmm.

Now here’s the thing.  I live next to a wood that contains what is charitably called a pond.  It is home to a very annoying and highly vocal Barred Owl and a band of coyotes whose musical stylings would be accurately described as blood chilling.  Some nights I sit in bed thinking I’d welcome the good old serenade of urban gunfire, ambulance and police sirens.  My point is that, for all I know, there’s a werewolf living out there already.  But anyway, if there is a werewolf in the neighborhood tonight is his first and only chance this full moon to terrorize us.

But think of all the pressure on this poor schlub.  He’s got to go to work tomorrow and he’s probably watching Sunday Night Football (assuming he’s a democrat which of course all monsters are).  And just to complicate things the weather has turned rainy and there are a lot of leaves in the grass.  I mean if he’s a suburban lycanthrope and let’s assume he’s getting up there, forty-five or fifty years old, he’s not in the best of shape.  Suppose he goes running toward a victim and slips and face plants.  Not only is this embarrassing but potentially catastrophic.  Suppose he knocks himself out and his erstwhile victim thinks he’s a neighborhood stray and brings him to the vet for treatment.  Well in addition to binding his wounds these ministering angels of the animal world are liable to give him a flea bath and neuter him for good measure and put his picture in the Penny Saver adoption section.  He wakes up the next morning squeezed into some dog crate in the vets’ office naked and without the family jewels.  I mean, that’s not right.

So tonight, I plan to put out a pan of beer (probably a cheap domestic) loaded up with vodka.  With any luck, the poor bastard will conk out behind my shed and wake up tomorrow with nothing worse than a hangover and really bad breath.  I mean, we’re neighbors.  It’s the least I can do.