February 2 marks the midpoint, halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. It’s the month of the full “snow moon” — this year’s will rise on February 10 — and after 51 days of winter, we’re yearning for the return of brightness and light. Our trees may still be stripped, our fields and farms still frozen, but take heart: Our landscape shimmers beneath the radiance of a full Carolina moon.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Photographers all over North Carolina positioned themselves in high places — like here at Waterrock Knob, elevation nearly 6,000 feet — to capture the rare “supermoon” in November. The last time the moon was this close to Earth was 1948. We won’t see this lunar event again until 2034.
Photograph by Eric Haggard
Positioned between the city’s most famous architectural duo, the Buncombe County Courthouse and Asheville City Hall, a brilliant full moon lights up Pack Square in winter. This month’s full moon will happen on Friday, February 10, just a few days before Valentine’s Day. From this downtown spot, it’s less than a five-minute walk to French Broad Chocolate Lounge. If the city moonlight isn’t enough to woo your sweetheart, the handcrafted chocolate truffles here should do the trick.
Photograph by Jared Kay
During a nighttime hike in DuPont State Recreational Forest, a starlit sky and a waxing crescent moon illuminate an expanse of exposed granite at the intersection of Big Rock and Cedar Mountain trails. In the evening light, the mountain terrain, barren and rocky, takes on the characteristics of a moonscape.
Photograph by Thomas Moors
Of the more than a dozen astronomy clubs in North Carolina, the Forsyth Astronomical Society — founded in 1937 — is the oldest and one of the most active. Public viewings of lunar events frequently take place here at Pilot Mountain, and FAS members make their own telescopes available for anyone to use. This month’s moon observation will be on February 18 (February 25 is the alternate rain/snow date). For other observation nights, check the club’s online calendar at fas37.org/wp/.
Photograph by David Short
In coastal North Carolina, the rising and setting of the moon holds sway over daily life, as tidal changes affect fishing, swimming, surfing, shelling. Here at the Whalehead Life Saving Station — now a residence and vacation rental — near Currituck Beach, access is by four-wheel drive only, making low tide preferable for coming and going.
Photograph by Thomas Moors
This story was published on Feb 03, 2017
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