In the myth-world of the Ojibway, Michabo was the Great Spirit, grandson of the Moon and son of the West Wind—a beneficent culture hero, inventor and creator, bringer of day and light. Come November, before taking his long winter's sleep, it was said Michabo filled his pipe for a final smoke, puffing out those clouds which rise to fill the autumn air with the haze we recognize as one of the characteristics of the period we call Indian Summer.
Next week's weather is supposed to be in the 60s˚F. Whether this qualifies as true Indian Summer, a second Indian Summer, or just a late-autumn warm spell is a debate I'll leave for another time. But whatever the final call on that question, when Moon-the-Dog and I stepped outside for a final short amble before turning to our beds late yesterday evening, there was no doubt of a warming trend already underway, or a night sky filled with misty haze and scudding clouds.
An all-but-full moon hung high in the dark sky above the sycamores; the fabled Beaver Moon of the Algonquin tribes. A reddish-tinged moon, glowing bright, surrounded by a swirling gauze of clouds which caught and diffused the light, refracting its pale colors into irregular surrounding bands of blue and gold and orange.
A lovely November moon of wonder and mystery…as timeless as land and season and ancient stories told round a warming fire, when winds soughed softly in the pines and Orion's Great Bear began making his was down from the dark night sky to wash his paws in the cold waters of Gitche Gumee's inland sea.
The Moon of Michabo.
[ The image above is the best of several attempts to capture last night's marvelous moon on digital. Alas, my photo is not all that great, though it's the best of the lot. I had to resort to a high ISO 3200. The shot also fails to show the intensity and full halo effect of the colors. I just hope it gives you some idea of what I saw. ]