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Today is a full moon. The Wolf Moon.

M-J Kelley - Wolf Moon (pencil)
M-J Kelley – Wolf Moon (pencil)

This seems somewhat fitting considering that I recently adopted three puppies. One for my spouse, one for my mom and one for me. They are toy Yorkies, all girls and are now three months old. All dog. And seemingly, all wolf.

January’s full moon is called the Wolf Moon.

Howling Wolves in January
The January Full Moon is often called the Wolf Moon. Other names include Old Moon, Ice Moon, and Snow Moon, although this name is usually attributed to the February Full Moon.

While the almanac states that Wolf Moon is a Native American name, other sources claim that it has Anglo-Saxon origins. In Anglo-Saxon culture, the January Full Moon was also called the Moon after Yule, which is the time of the ancient festival celebrating the Winter Solstice around December 22.

Why Do Wolves Howl?
Regardless of where the name Wolf Moon comes from; wolves howl to communicate over long distances both in North America and in Europe. It is a way of saying “here I am” to the rest of the pack or “stay away” to intruders.

During the denning season in spring and early summer, wolves only howl to pack mates. As the late summer moves towards fall, wolves call more and more to neighbors and enemies. While an average howl from a single wolf lasts from 3 to 7 seconds, a chorus by a pack can last from 30 to 120 seconds and longer during the breeding season in February. So wolves are particularly loud and vocal in the first months of the year, which is probably why people associated the month of January with howling wolves. timeanddate.com

I would have liked to have seen it tonight, but it is overcast and calling for freezing rain.

So, I will try for next year.