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Shine On Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon, Lassen Peak (9/23/18) Chico Hiking Association

Mountain Maples and Oceanspray (9/24/18) Chico Hiking Association

Mountain Maples (9/24/18) Chico Hiking Association

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/24/18) Chico Hiking Association

On its explorations yesterday, the Chico Hiking Association captured the harvest moon (the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox) rising over Lassen National Park.

A harvest moon is called such, because it puts out a lot of bright light in early evening, that has traditionally aided farmers with bringing in the harvest, the Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us.

Harvest moons also have the shortest difference in the time that they rise each day. Whereas in other months of the year, moons rise about 50 minutes apart on each successive day. Near the autumnal equinox, a harvest moon rises both near sunset and 30 minutes later than the previous day.

That is a yearly minimum difference which explains why it can appear that there are multiple full moons in a row. If you happened to photograph this year’s harvest moons, send images to We’d love to share them.

On its weekend explorations, CHA visited Elam Campground in Lassen National Forest (50 mi. east of Chico) where sunlight, not a harvest moon, illuminated the gold and orange foliage of Mountain Maple, Acer glabrum, and Oceanspray, Holodiscus discolor, formidable shrubs ( 5 to 20′ tall) that grow along rocky slopes.

Indian Rhubarb, Darmera, are approaching Near Peak beside CA-32 along Deer Creek.

Elsewhere in the Shasta Cascade Region, color spotter Jeff Titcomb sent the following snaps of a variety of native and exotic foliage exhibiting early peak color, including: California wild grape, firethorn (pyracantha), Pacific dogwood, bigleaf maple, and chokecherry. 

Elam Campground (4,380′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

California Wild Grape , Quincy (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Firethorn, pyracantha, Quincy (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Pacific dogwood, Quincy (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf Maple. Greenville (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Greenville (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Chokecherry, Greenville (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Chokecherry (9/22/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb