The Wonderful Magical Moon . . . Bella Luna ♥


If you live to be a hundred, you’ll experience about 1,200 wonderful magical full moons in your lifetime.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s not really enough.

♣     ♣     ♣

Because I make wishes on everything from lady bugs to hay trucks to dandelions, falling leaves I catch in midair, to first stars and birthday candles, of course I make wishes on the full moon.  I can’t resist; there it is spreading light on the whole world.  I would love to be a part of that. 

So, I thought I’d do my year-in-review by moonlight;  here are a few of the moons you and I have shared this year.  And here’s a little night music to go with them  . . . (you can click and come right back and listen while you scroll down. )

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one . . .

My favorite is when the moon comes up over Vineyard Haven harbor, peeks through the maples and birches into my backyard, and shines a silvery path across the frosted lawn to my kitchen door.  This was taken just the other night from our porch; it’s the “Long Night’s Moon,” as the December full moon was called by Native Americans.

Coming home from a long trip, we crossed the stormy sound by boat at midnight . . . our way was lit by stars and the full Hunter’s Moon of October.

Pismo Beach, California; a balmy moonlit night after a walk on the beach.

Overlooking Edgartown harbor and the “on-time” ferry to Chappaquiddick . . . wearing hats, scarves, gloves, it’s cold out there!

Bella Luna . . . The Harvest Moon comes up right at the end of our street.  I wait for it.  It also wakes me up at night, calls me to the window.

I know it shines down on the whole world . . . how many are standing at their windows right now?

Or maybe at the rail of a ship crossing the Atlantic . . . One of my favorite of my lifetime allotment of 1,200 moons.

Driving 101, on the Central Coast of California, heading south past Shell Beach in August, and there she was!  Mrs. Green Corn Moon herself. Beautiful, beautiful moon.

In April, we twirl and make wishes on the “Pink Moon.”

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.  George Carlin

Woods Hole, on a blustery night just after a storm blew through, and bella luna.

The Strawberry Moon coming up through the cottonwoods at our California house.

No privacy; the moon comes peeping over the barn and lets herself in through our bedroom window.

This is what we see in our “room with a view” when we cross the country by train; from our sleeping car window there are beautiful sunsets and amazing moonrises, like this one, over the New Mexico desert.

No moon?  There’s always a full moon at the Griffith Park Observatory in Hollywood where we went last April.

I’m standing out in front of my house looking toward the harbor by way of the moon.  The best things in life are free. 

This is where we walk every day, out a dirt road through the woods that opens onto this pond and the sound — in the summer we come down for the sunset and go home with the moon rise.

The stars are just coming out, find one and make a New Year’s wish!

 Happy New Year to everyone! In 2014, when you look up, just tell the driver:

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.   Les Brown

And just in case you’d like a little more moon–here you go!


(If I had a gypsy soul, which this song almost makes me think I do, this would make me want to tie long scarves to my fingers, and dance barefoot to the bella bella moon . . .)

Here’s a little S.B. memorabilia for you for the New Year . . . It’s a bookmark you can print out, with all the dates for all the full moons for 2014 so you don’t miss a thing!  It also includes the Native American names for each month’s moon.  If you want one more reminder, we also made a moon wallpaper for your computer.

And don’t forget to make your wish . . . It’s a marvelous night for a moondance . . .

H A P P Y   N E W   Y E A R !

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

281 Responses to The Wonderful Magical Moon . . . Bella Luna ♥

  1. PatsyAnne says:

    Happy New Year to your whole family! I follow your blog and really look forward to Willard – what a great gift we receive from you – just after Epiphany when a lot of countries (and religions) exchange gifts – for its the “day the Magi reached the Christ Child and gave him presents” – I did have one question about your post, when you travel across country on the train, how will the kitties travel? I know AMTRAK doesn’t allow pets onboard. I remember “way back” when my daughter was 12 (she is now in her 40’s), we took the first cross country amtrak double-decker train from Chicago to San Francisco… over the mountains and across the buttes, up and across Donner Pass and the nights in the observatory car were incredible – we were onboard for the first land landing of the space shuttle, which they broadcast over the intercom – the train erupted in cheers and then we were all invited to the lounge where free drinks were offered. One morning as we crossed a butte – completely flat, not trees, low brush – Jenn glanced out the window in awe – for a rainbow had arced up and over the top and actually ended close to the train tracks!

  2. Gigi says:

    Gorgeous moon photos! The one with the church steeple is especially perfect and so very beautiful! All this moon talk reminds me of that old song — “I see the moon and the moon sees me . . . ” — I remember my dad singing to me when I was young ;). Remember that?
    Blessed New Year to you!
    Oh, and have you seen this little moon phase watching widget?
    It’s kinda fun.

  3. Terry says:

    Happy New Year, Susan!

  4. Kathy Thompson says:

    What a wonderful way to start off the new year with all the moon shots. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  5. Aggie says:

    Happy New Year Susan! I am so glad I discovered your blog after revisiting my Heart of the Home book last summer. I love the way the full moon light shines into our house. Remember “Cosmo’s moon” in Moonstruck? Another thing with a full moon…sometimes my two get the kitty crazies, so keep an eye on your two and see if you notice a difference!

      • Aggie says:

        More concerning the night sky – tonight – source Detroit Free Press:
        If you snooze you’ll lose Wednesday morning, when a little known but active meteor shower will start 2012 for people stalwart enough to brave the chilly hours before dawn. The Quadrantids, named for a now-extinct constellation, will be visible for two hours early Wednesday, from about 3 to 5 a.m. local times.
        The shower is likely to produce up to 100 falling stars an hour, making for a good show. People across North America who stay up late enough, and who have a clear sky, should get a nice view, says Conrad Jung, an astronomer at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. 🙂

  6. Connie B says:

    Here is a little story to start off the new year about my ” love you to the moon and back ” 3 yr old granddaughter, Izzy. She was so excited about New Years and the ” toast ” to celebrate. My daughter served sparkling grape juice in the early eve just before Izzy’s bedtime. The family toasted in the new year and when Izzy finished her juice she asked where the toast was as she was hungry and was waiting for the toast to be served ! ps Our Minnesota snow storm turned out to be 1/2 inch ! Perhaps it will pick up more moisture and come your way.

  7. Jack says:

    Here’s he lifesaving recipe for restoring all that glucose and potassium that was lost at those parties — Drink a nice big glass of orange juice and eat a banana……..that’ll do it
    Your friend, Ned Sparks

  8. Happy New Year Susan, I just finished reading all the very nice comments from all the girls and I think by now you must know how very special you are to all of us and how much we appreciate all of your hard work. I think in 2012 we all need to glance out of our windows all across this land and beyond every evening and say a prayer or make a wish on the Moon and say “Good Night” and “Sweet Dreams”…..just a little ritual we can all share? From Jim and I to You and Yours….”May the Lord Bless and Keep You Always in his Loving Arms”.

  9. Cindy Maulin says:

    Happy 1st Day!!!! Always a very favorite day of mine…quiet, reflective, and full of anticipation…loved the shots of the moon…my dad LOVED astrology and fancied himself an expert of the skies…he would actually stop the car and pull over to show us something special he saw in the night sky…many a night we laid in our hammock and listened to his stories about the stars, constellations, and the moon….for this..i am forever grateful…he even named me “Cynthia” because of its’ celestial meaning… ” goddess of the moon”.. ha! ( or maybe my mom just like the name…it’s an on-going debate!!)…but like you, the moon has special meaning and powers for me….so keep wishing and dreaming by the light…. happy 2012!!
    love, cindy
    ps…just put up your it!!! thank you Susan….

    • sbranch says:

      So welcome Cindy . . . Happy 1st Day . . . I feel the same as you, quiet, reflective, and full of anticipation!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Happy New Year!

    There hasn’t been a Susan Branch easel calendar available since 2010. I keep emailing your office to beg for one! I love the easel calendar because I can keep it on my desk and really look at it all day.

    So what I do is buy the magnet calendar and rip off the 2012 pages and each month place them over the 2010 easel calendar month-part (not the picture part) so I can still have my easel calendar! Each year I hope we’ll get the easel calendar again (I have the 2008 folding one still, and the 2010 in the little plastic easel!) so I won’t have to jerry-rig my own!

    I buy one of each of all the calendar options and have them all over the house. I put the 2012 up today – and they are amazing! I love the clock on the little one – and the message of renewal on the big one – just fantastic! The BEST calendars ever.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much!! Sorry about that easel calendar — we keep trying to interest that company into doing it again, but so far we haven’t had any luck. Happy new year Stephanie!

  11. Darlene says:

    Beautiful moon!! Thank you Susan….wishing a very Happy and Blessed New Year to you, Joe and sweet kittycats.

  12. Debbie P says:

    Hi, Susan~
    Just popping in to wish you and yours a Happy New Year, filled with many blessings! …and to THANK YOU for creating and continuing this wonderful blog! I’ve been pretty slow to embrace technology but this is a perfect example of how it can be used to gather people together and to enhance communication.
    Here’s to a year filled with love and friendship for all you “girlfriends” out there, as well! God Bless!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been relatively slow also — but I can’t say enough good things about it now! I was changed forever when I went on Twitter and found a 104 year old woman named Ivy Bean, twittering from her retirement home in England. Normally at 104, you’d have lost many of the wonderful things around you that brought you happiness, mostly, your friends and family. But here she was, reaching out, and at the time I found her she had over a half-million followers!! She was so popular, writing about the simple things in her life — going to tea, going for a drive — that she was on CNN and all the most popular sports players in England went up to be photographed with her! When I realized no one need ever be cut off and lonely again, that every person would matter for as long as they were alive, that’s when I realized the huge change we had here! That good canceled out all the negative in my mind. So happy you found your way here — there are kindred spirits here. ♥

      • Debbie P says:

        What a wonderful story! I, too, am finding more and more good to say about the computer age. A year and a half ago, my husband had a scare and needed major surgery. I was lead to an amazing website- CaringBridge-and was able to keep all of our friends and family updated on his progress without the endless phone calls that it would normally take…it turned out to be such a blessing, as even folks we had never met sent us prayers and well-wishes! Then, this past year, our daughter was expecting our first grandchild and living a 15 hr. drive from us. We were introduced to Skype and were able to see her and speak face-to-face with her everyday while keeping up on her growing belly….what fun and again, what a blessing! I have come to realize that just like anything else, if our intentions are good and we’re careful not to abuse or disrespect, technology can be AWESOME! I would have loved to be able to share some time with Ms. Ivy Bean! I will think of her and your story whenever I need to draw on some inspiration! Happy New Year, again, friend!

        • sbranch says:

          I bet everyone would have a wonderful story to tell about this. I lOVED the CaringBridge — am keeping a note of that. Thank you!

          • Judy in Ohio says:

            Another thing about CaringBridge is that they will print up for the individual or the family all of the comments that folks checking in have written and then at the end of the “ordeal” that has happened, will give you a book with everything in it.

            A friend of mine a few years ago had a stroke and after she had somewhat recovered, she could read the printed book and see the notes and wishes that friends and family had written to her and her family when they checked CaringBridge to see how things were going with her recovery…and ultimately it really helped her with her recovery…seeing what was written there by everyone along with her husband’s very nice and informative entries about her daily (almost) progress…It really is a great help to those trying to recover. 🙂 A wonderful service. VERY helpful to all involved!!


          • sbranch says:

            I love that Judy, thank you!

  13. Country Gal says:

    Awesome post and photos ! Papa and I are amature astronamers and love the night skies. Yes we have telescopes and a domed sky pod to cuzy in with our telescopes and gaze at the the skys ! I love taking photos of the moon or with the moon in them . Papa takes astro photos thats photos of the stars and night skies through his telescopes ! We have always been facinated by the night skies,stars,planets and the moon. I have a wonderful book” The New Atlas of the moon ” its amazing but whats more amazing is to know there is a hole new other world up there ! Have a great day !

    • sbranch says:

      Started for me when I was a kid and we would sleep out in the backyard on summer nights . . . oh those stars!

  14. Penny Hoopes says:

    Thank you for all the moon pix. I check to see where it is every night. I have a “night sky” app. & it tells me where the moon is & all the planets, etc. Its great. Please don”t let that darling Jack outside. It’s so much safer for your cats to leave them inside ALL the time. They will love you for keeping them as inside cats. Love you……..Penny Hoopes

  15. Glenda says:


    Love your moon blog! I live in a valley surrounded by mountains. It sounds crazy but sometimes when I wake up I just get up and watch the moon. So peaceful. It always makes me happy to think of all the people that don’t live near me too that are seeing the same moon. I have several windows in my room and very little for window treatments on them. When there is a full moon my room is lit up like the neighbor’s house when the Griswolds turned on their Christmas lights. 🙂 Just love it! The first time my grandchildren came to visit, one of them asked me, “Granmma was is that?”. They live in such a congested area of lights they hadn’t been able to see the stars…We all just love being able to see them and the moon. There I go again with that song…”The Best Things in Life Are Free”. Love your blog……Hope the new year is the best ever for you and Joe!

  16. Gale Jourdet says:

    Susan you have saved the best for last….here at year’s end you have given us a most precious reminder to see the gifts all around us. You live your life in such a positive way. When all around there is such trouble and 24 hours of bad news, your authentic positive force reaches us with such clarity, I find such pleasure in knowing you through your books and your writing. Thank you, Susan Branch….thank you.

  17. Rosemary says:

    A little late commenting but we took a big, spur-of-the-moment, fun camping trip with friends from Friday until Sunday. The weather was lovely here in Texas and we were close enough to run into town to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a third couple for dinner and “War Horse”…then back to the campground after that. AND, there was a demilune in the clearest sky imagineable. So, your moon post was so perfect and I have printed the bookmark and the waxing and waning info was very news to me!
    Here is to a wonderful New Year for you filled with all the things that make you happy…including 2 kitties and Joe!

  18. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Happy New Year Sweet Sue! Thank You for The Full~Moon Bookmark & The Moon Wallpaper..(I Just put it as My Backround! Gorgeous!)…Our New Year’s Eve Party was Beyond Amazing…One of Our Neighbor’s (Cute Couple) Captain Timmy & wife Robyn just bought a Pontoon~Boat for Christmas & Invited Our Party to Join them…for an Evening Cruise…WE just got a New “LegoLand” They bought Our Beloved “Cypress~Gardens”…so Legoland was having a Huge New Year’s Eve Party with Fireworks at 7:00 pm…& By Boat you can Cruise toward LegoLand for a Fabulous View…Well…at 7:00pm…Whooshhhhhhh…Bam…boom…An Amazing Fireworks show Began…We were right Under Them on this Boat…I’ve Never Ever been this close to Fireworks before it was Spectacular! The Perfect way to End 2011 & Begin 2012…after 20 minutes of Glittery Fairy~Dust come to Life…we all continued The Boat Ride right back to Our Back Yard…we live on a Canal which connects all The Lakes…& Back into Our House where The Party continued until about 4:00am…Yikes! Yawn…Fun…Herbster & I took all Day (Sunday) to Recover & Clean(Me) lol… 🙂 “Second Star to The Right…and Straight on til Morning” (James Barrie…Peter Pan) via You Sweet Sue…Thank You…I am now in a Bella Luna Mood…My Gypsy Soul is Twirling! Love & Hugzzzz & A Happy New Year to All of Us! xoxo Poof! 🙂

  19. Tamar Weaver says:

    SO cool! Thank you. Happy New Year, girl!

  20. j’adore . . I often freeze my tootsies dashing outside of a late night to take images of our moon. I will sit for hours, bundled up just staring at her beauty. I’m especially interested in the Native American names, and must check out the UK references in Old Moore’s Almanack too and compare. Thank you for the bookmark, I shall print it in the morning . .
    Now, here’s a little story for you, Susan. A former headmistress of my grammar school, the late Miss Rees, once told me that she had a close relative that left Wales in the mid to late 1800’s (I forget the details now) for America. Eventually, he settled in Pennsylvania but later moved to California and had a park named after himself in Los Angeles . . yes, you guessed it . . Griffith Park! I’d comepletely forgotten it until I saw your reference to the Observatory. What a small world it is in which we live, and we all share the same beautiful moon too! Miss Rees, btw, was a formidable lady, not to be trifled with!
    So looking forward to the first Willard of 2012 with eager anticipation!

  21. Karen says:

    Dear Susan. I just printed the bookmark on card stock and will be using my new bookmark as the page marker for my gratitude journal. Can you guess what one of my entries of gratitude will be tonight? Thank you Susan!

  22. Becki says:

    Oh Susan! So glad you wrote about the moon and you love it too! My mom, who passed away five years ago was also crazy about the moon. There are five kids in my family and various times when she would talk to one of us on the phone she would say did you see the moon tonight? When I spoke at her funeral the first thing I said was “My mom loved the moon!” Every time I see it I think of her and that song by Chris Rice – I see the moon, the moon sees me, the moon sees the one I’m longing to see, God bless the moon, and God bless me, and God bless the one I’m longing to see. Thanks for the memories!

  23. Jeanie Piscitelli says:

    Happy New Year to you Susan and to all our wonderful “girlfriends” I am looking forward to another year from your beautiful and inspiring blog.

  24. Loved all the Moon shots. Happy New Year to all. Bella Luna!!!

  25. Jean says:

    Lovely! Thank you, Susan.

  26. Katherine says:

    What a most wonderful New Year’s/Early Birthday Gift for me!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!
    I’ve always loved the moon—always felt very alive when I saw one. Love all the different moons, but how fabulous is it to look out your window and see the entire moon all lit up like a friend, lighting your way? Oh and don’t you love the moon in the Disney “Dreamworks” commercials—the little boy sitting on the crescent moon, casting his fishing line into a pond below that shows his reflection. I love it!
    The moon has always been very special to me—as a little girl when my parents divorced, and I rarely saw my father he would always say “Look at the moon and I’ll be looking at it so it’s as if we are looking at each other.”
    Whcich reminds me of the movie “Under the Same Moon”—a must see, very touching film! Do rent it!
    As you can see…I could go on and on but am sure you are quite busy and therefore will stop with one little question.
    How did you hear all of these different moon names?

    Have an amazing New Year!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I love to read Native American writings — so poetic! I happened upon those moon names, and started putting them in my calendars in the 1990’s. Happy New Year to you too Katherine!

  27. sondra fox says:

    I love all the pictures of your new kitty, Jack, but what happened to Girl Kitty? You haven’t talked about her lately. Sure hope she’s OK.

    • sbranch says:

      She’s just wonderful, but she’s a lot quieter than Jack, and very shy. But I think Jack is starting to draw her out a bit, not that she’s really crazy about being drawn out! 🙂

  28. suzee branch says:

    the way you adore and appreciate that grand pearl pie in the sky, i just bet you’re captivated and a HUGE fan of that golden “back light” that only happens at the right time of day when everything is in place perfectly right. you probably find someway to wish on the color of that light, right?
    suzee B

  29. CATHERINE says:


Comments are closed.