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Wild About PA

Read Marcus Schneck's blog on the great outdoors of Central Pennsylvania.

Last Build Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2017 11:49:11 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2017

Much of Central Pennsylvania still waiting for cicadamania 2013

Wed, 05 Jun 2013 14:00:48 UTC


Where are the cicadas of Brood II?

The explosive emergence of 17-year periodical cicadas expected about now has yet to fully materialize in many parts of Central Pennsylvania, and may indeed not materialize this year.

Brood II, which is the group of the large insects emerging this year, has never been as abundant or widespread as the gargantuan Brood X, which also is known as the Great Eastern Brood. However, some areas like Bergen County, N.J., have seen millions of cicadas emerge in the past couple weeks.
And, some locations in Central Pennsylvania - notably the Williams Valley/Lykens Valley area between Tower City and the Millersburg-Halifax area - have seen large numbers of cicadas, accompanied by the trademark deafening buzz of the insects in some spots.

Greg Hoover, ornamental entomologist in Penn State's Department of Entomology and one of the leading cicada authorities in Pennsylvania, said one of the questions he's hearing most often from the media the past few days is "Why don't we have them?"

Part of the answer is the smaller nature of Brood II, but another part is that many areas no longer have "an abundance of uninterrupted woodlands" favored by periodical cicadas they once did. The third part of the answer may reside in the unseasonably cold weather just before Memorial Day, which may have held soil temperatures just below the 64 degrees Fahrenheit required to stir the cicada nymphs to leave their tunnels in the soil in search of mating opportunities.

"Some of those colder overnight temperatures may have slowed things down a bit," said Hoover.

However, he noted, areas southeast and northeast of Central Pennsylvania have seen significant emergences, hinting that "by the end of next week, the peak of the emergence will be past. We're getting close to it, if not in some of the southeastern Pennsylvania counties are past peak."

Central Pennsylvania may have one chance to yet see some emergence out of Brood II, and that chance lies in the rainfall forecast the weekend.

"A rainfall event really triggers" the full emergence," explained Hoover.

If you spot cicadas, please report your sighting to

Media Files:

Really bright Geminid meteor shower could be coming

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:00:00 UTC


Geminid meteor shower has been known to show as many as 120 meteors per hour.

The meteors of the Geminid meteor shower, which hits its peak the night of Wednesday, December 13, into the morning of Thursday, December 14, could be particularly bright this year.

The moon during that peak will be waning, showing just a sliver, less than 20 percent of its total.

The Geminids are known as particularly bright meteors, especially when they flash across dark night skies, which Dec. 13-14 should be this year.

They also have shown rates as high as 120 meteors per hour.

Best viewing should be about 2 a.m., and this might be a good year to get away from city lights and out into the countryside.

The Geminds are named for the Gemini constellation in the northeastern nigh sky, from which they appear to emanate. However, with the meteors streaming across the sky, it's not necessary to locate that apparent point of origin.

They are remnants of asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is believed to have collided with another object to produce the particles that now create the meteor shower.

The Geminid meteor shower was first recorded in 1833.

Media Files:

Bear with wanderlust was a traveler to the end

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:00:00 UTC


Large bruin toured Central Pennsylvania before being killed on a roadway in Berks County.

The large black bear that was captured in Lancaster County and relocated to Stony Valley in Dauphin County in June has followed its enthusiasm for travel to the bitter end.

The male bruin was killed early in the morning on Sunday, November 12, while attempting to cross Interstate 78 near Lenhartsville in Berks County. It was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer.

The bear was estimated to weigh 550 pounds on June 22, when it was darted with tranquilizer by a Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer in a backyard in Leola, Lancaster County.

It was relocated to State Game Lands 211 in Stony Valley, north of Harrisburg.

From there, the bear made its way about 65 miles - not in a straight line nor all at once - to the east and its death on I-78. Unbroken, forested mountains connect Stony Valley and Lenhartsville.

The bear may have weighed more than 700 pounds when it died. It was estimated at 550 pounds in June and likely added as much as 150 pounds since then in building up its fat reserves for hibernation.

A flatbed tow truck was used to remove the dead bear from I-78.

It might have been as heavy as the largest bear harvested in the recent firearms hunting seasons for bear - a male estimated at 700 pounds, killed at about 8 a.m. November 18 in Oil Creek Township, Venango County, by Chad Wagner, of Titusville.

The Game Commission first encountered the bear May 20 in northern Adams County, where it had been breaking into buildings to eat rabbit food and bird seed.

It was then relocated to northern Perry County, more than 60 miles and across at least the Susquehanna River from the spot it was again captured for relocation 33 days later.

More about bears and bear hunting in Pennsylvania:

Media Files:

When can you see the last supermoon of 2017?

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:00:00 UTC


The first and last supermoon of 2017 will rise into the night sky at 4:59 p.m. Sunday, December 3. It will reach perigee - the point in its orbit closest to Earth, and the point at which it will look its largest - at 3:45 a.m. Monday, December 4. The sun will set at 4:28 p.m. on Sunday. We...

The first and last supermoon of 2017 will rise into the night sky at 4:59 p.m. Sunday, December 3. It will reach perigee - the point in its orbit closest to Earth, and the point at which it will look its largest - at 3:45 a.m. Monday, December 4.

The sun will set at 4:28 p.m. on Sunday.

We describe a moon as a supermoon when a full moon coincides with perigee, making the moon appear as much as 14 percent larger than a "normal" full moon and 30 percent brighter.

At that point the moon will be 238,000 miles from Earth, which won't be the moon's closest approach of 2017. But, when the moon was 221,958 miles from Each on May 25, it was in new-moon phase and, hence, not a supermoon.

Native Americans knew the full moon of December as the Cold Moon, Snow Moon, Blue Moon and Big Spirit Moon.

The next supermoon - the first of two supermoons in 2018 - will occur on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Media Files:

Is another historic snowy owl invasion about to begin?

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:00:00 UTC


Snowy owls from the Arctic are showing up in the U.S., including Pennsylvania, just like they did during the record-books year in 2013.

Pennsylvania and other northern states could be in the path of another big influx of snowy owls from the tundra of the Arctic again this winter.

Indications are building that many of the large owls, referred to by the code SNOW by licensed bird-banders, according to Project SNOWstorm, a snowy owl-tracking organization run in part through the Millersburg-based Ned Smith Center of Nature and Art.

The same four-year, boom cycle of lemmings - preferred prey of the owls - and snowy owls in northern Quebec that preceded the 2013-14 mass irruption of snowy owls south into the U.S. It was an irruption of snowy owls beyond any witnessed since the 1920s, or maybe the 1890s,

And, just as in 2013-14, many snowy owls have already turned up this year in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. A few have been confirmed in Pennsylvania. According to Scott Weidensaul, one of the directors of Project SNOWstorm, in the past few days there's been an unconfirmed sighting reported in Dauphin County.

While an irruption appears imminent, Weidensaul is not yet ready to forecast anything on par with 2013-14, when about 400 snowy owls showed up in Pennsylvania, an epic increase over the 10 or so that visit the state most winters.

"The irruption of 2013-14 was historically huge, the biggest invasion since at least 1926-27, and possibly as far back as the 1890s," he explained. "It's a little hard to be precise, because no one was trying to accurately count owls back in those days, but the '13-14 invasion was clearly orders of magnitude bigger than anything we'd seen for decades.

"It was the result of historically high peaks in the lemming cycle in northern Quebec, exceptional high productivity among nesting owls, which likely gathered there from a wide area of the Canadian Arctic, and possibly weather or snow cover conditions that prompted many of the young birds to move south.

"We still don't understand all the dynamics that go into one of these irruptions. I think it would be extraordinary for those conditions to have repeated themselves (again this year), but we don't know, and will just have to wait to find out.

"More likely, we'll have a "normal" every-fourth-year irruption of high but not historic owl numbers."

Weidensaul also shot down the common misconception that it's a shortage of food in their Arctic home that drives the snowy owls south.

"As in the past, all indications are that (the owls showing up in the U.S.) are largely young owls on their first migration south, and old myths to the contrary, they are not being forced down here by hunger - most are actually pretty fat - and those that don't get tangled up with vehicles, planes or other manmade hazards usually survive quite well to return north in springtime."

Here's a look back at 2013-14:

Media Files:

Pennsylvania gets a bit closer to having an official amphibian

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:37:32 UTC


The state Senate is advancing legislation to make the Eastern hellbender the official amphibian of Pennsylvania. Watch video

State flower? Mountain laurel. State animal? White-tailed deer. State bird? Ruffed grouse. State dog? Great Dane. 

But we don't have a state amphibian. That could change.

The state Senate is advancing legislation to make the Eastern hellbender the official amphibian of Pennsylvania, as researchers say its population is shrinking because of pollution, The Associated Press reported. The bill passed, 47-2, and heads to the House.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the hellbender is an aquatic salamander that can grow up to two feet long, making them the largest North American amphibian. They are nocturnal and prefer shallow, clear and fast streams with rocks to live under.

The eastern hellbender is one of the largest living amphibians in the world. A large adult can exceed 2 feet and weigh more than 2 pounds, according to the PennLive/The Patriot-News archives. Hellbenders are completely aquatic and spend their lives under large rocks in clean streams where they feed on crawfish and other aquatic organisms. A hellbender's wrinkled skin is specially adapted to absorb oxygen through the water, while their flattened body allows them to squeeze into tight spots under rocks.

Pa. almost had an official cookie: State symbols that did and didn't make the cut

Researchers across the hellbender's range, which extends from New York and Pennsylvania to Georgia and Missouri, have noted drastic declines in populations. In Ohio, surveys of hellbender populations have found an 82 percent decline in relative abundance compared to previous surveys conducted in the mid-1980s.

Hellbenders don't have federal protected status, although some states give them protected status, The Associated Press reported. Pennsylvania does not.

For more on Pennsylvania outdoors: 


Media Files:

Severe winter weather ahead, according to wildlife folklore forecast

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:00:00 UTC


In a tight vote, more wildlife indicators lean toward severe than those pointing to mild.

Meteor shower will peak on especially dark nights

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 18:00:00 UTC


Leonid meteors will peak at 10-15 per hour on November 17 and 18.

Although nothing spectacular is expected from this year's Leonid meteor shower, when it peaks November 17 and 18 the night sky will be relatively dark and moonless.

The peak of the shower - probably 10-15 per hour - is expected from midnight to dawn on Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18

The moon will be in the new-moon phase during that peak period.

The Leonids are bits of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle on its 33-year orbit around the sun. When that debris enters the Earth's atmosphere and evaporates, it produces the Leonids.

The meteors will appear to radiate from Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, which is how they come by their name.

However, you don't need to locate Leo to see the meteors. They will flash across the night sky.

More important for best viewing is finding a dark sky away from city lights.

Although the Leonids have produced meteor storms in the past - such as the 1833 storm that was reported at more than 100,000 meteors per hour - astronomers do not expect anything like that this year.

Media Files:

Quarantine expanded to 13 counties in battle against invading insect

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 15:00:00 UTC


Central Pennsylvania counties now included in spotted lanternfly zone. Trying to get ahead of a spreading infestation of the invasive spotted lanternfly, which has been confirmed on nearly 1,500 properties in the southeastern corner of the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has expanded a quarantine area to 13 counties, including some in Central Pennsylvania. The department previously relied on quarantines at the municipal level in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties, but in this latest expansion has expanded the restricted zone to include the entirety of those counties, as well as Carbon, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Monroe, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties. In a change of attack, the quarantine now includes area where the lanternfly has not yet been confirmed, but where there is a high risk of the insect spreading rapidly. The spotted lanternfly is an inch-long black, red and white spotted insect native to southeast Asia. When it was accidently introduced to South Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species that also grow in Pennsylvania, it spread throughout that country, which is roughly the size of Pennsylvania, within three years. The pest was first found in the U.S. in the fall of 2014, when it was found in Berks County. The department has estimated the threat of the lanternfly in the state at $18 billion worth of agricultural products like apples, grapes and hardwoods. In addition, said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, "it's also undermining the quality of life for Pennsylvanians who are coping with hoards found in many infested areas." The department received $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture this year to control the insect and $25,000 for outreach efforts, as well as USDA personnel, but has requested an additional $10-12 million. The multi-level containment effort to date has confined the lanternfly within the borders of Pennsylvania. However, noted Redding, "it is becoming apparent that we must bring more resources to bear if we want to eradicate this pest. It's also going to take the cooperation and support of the public." Included in that cooperation, the public is asked to: Scrape egg masses from trees or other surfaces, double bag them, and throw them in the garbage, or place the eggs in alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. Egg masses, which are laid in the fall, are initially waxy-looking, grey-brown blobs, and later look like dried mud. Check vehicles for egg masses before leaving an infested area. Buy firewood locally. Do not take it with you when you leave. Check lawn furniture, wood products, construction materials, tarps, lawnmowers, trailers and other items stored outdoors before bringing them in for the winter, covering them or moving them. Do not transport brush, yard waste, remodeling or construction waste outside quarantined areas. Anyone who finds the insects or egg masses outside quarantined areas should report sightings to Include photos, if possible, to help confirm the sighting. You may also call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189. Please provide details, including the location of the sighting, and your contact information. Calls may not be returned immediately, as call volume is high. Suspect specimens can be submitted to the department's headquarters in Harrisburg or to any of its six regional offices. Specimens also can be submitted to county Penn State Extension offices. Do not submit live specimens.  More about the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania: Feds award Pa. almost $3 million to control spotted lanternfly [...]

Media Files:

How good is the nut crop in Pennsylvania's forests?

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 10:00:00 UTC


Annual survey by the Pennsylvania Game Commission assesses acorns, beech nuts, hickory nuts and more across Pennsylvania.

Wildlife across Pennsylvania is experiencing a boom year of wild foods in the state's forests, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's annual Wildlife Food Survey.

The survey gathers input from the field staffs of the commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and this year they've reported strong production from many species of nut trees.

"Pretty much anywhere in the state that you find healthy beech trees this year you will find an exceptional crop of beechnuts," said Dave Gustafson, chief forester with the commission and compiler of the survey. "These nuts are highly preferred food for everything from grouse and squirrels to turkeys, deer and bear."

Another outstanding mast crop comes from Hickory this year. Hickory nut crops are being reported as widespread and very heavy. 

Black walnuts, while more of a farmland and woodlot species than a major forest of the forest, also are prolific this year. 

"The situation with acorn mast crops this years is taking some by surprise," noted Gustafson. "Many areas last year had bumper crops of red oak group acorns, and typically you would expect the following year to be very low in production. However, even areas that reported bumper crops last year are still seeing at least decent red oak acorn crops this year. And many areas that didn't see red oak acorns last year have a better than average crop this year.'

White oak and chestnut oak are a little less predictable in distribution of areas producing good crops, but if you find an area where they are producing acorns, they are likely producing in good numbers.

Beyond the nut crops, Gustafson said, most berry crops were reported as exceptional this summer, as were apples earlier this fall.

"This summer proved to be an exceptional growing season for native plants," he explained. The timing of the rains this summer was seemingly perfect, not too much, but just enough to produce tremendous growth on blackberries and native herbaceous plants like asters and pokeweed, as well as spurring significant growth on tree seedling regeneration. 

Gustafson noted, "The biggest challenge for hunters may be finding out which food source their chosen quarry is favoring at a specific time, as many critters will not need to move around much to get all the nutrition they need this year."

More about acorns:

Media Files:

Great opportunity for last glance of fall foliage this fall

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 14:00:00 UTC


Southcentral and southeastern Pennsylvania are making as last showing of fall color for 2017. Some of the best fall color currently in the state can be found in Weiser State Forest in the east-central counties of Dauphin, Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, Schuylkill, Carbon and Lebanon. Sassafras, hickories, and red and sugar maples are providing some fantastic shades of yellow and orange. A highly recommended scenic drive travels northeast from Route 322 through Powell's Valley, looping back into Clark's Valley on Route 325. From there, continue northeast and make a right onto Gold Mine Road. Head south to Swatara State Park, then Route 443 West and back toward Route 322. In the Southeastern Region (Adams, York, Lancaster, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties), foliage is at peak. The northern areas are slightly past peak but there is still some great color in Northampton, Lehigh, Berks and Bucks counties. The Wertz Tract in Berks County is still colorful, but many leaves were lost due to this weekend's storm. White and red oaks are adding pleasant fall shades in some higher elevations. A car ride to Mt. Gretna, Lebanon County, offers beautiful scenery in a classic, small-town setting. Fall foliage season is waning across the state, but "some regions in the southeastern quarter of the state still boast great fall color," according to Ryan Reed, environmental education specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and author of the weekly Fall Foliage Report for Pennsylvania. He noted that "a recent, strong and windy storm system stripped off many leaves statewide, but several species of hickories, maples and oaks are vibrant holdovers. Although at the end of their peak, yellow poplar, sassafras and yellow birch are adding bright color, even if only to the forest floor in some areas." In the Northern Region of McKean, Potter, Tioga, Bradford and Sullivan counties, forests are well-past peak, but a "second peak" of fall color is evident in some oak and beech forests. American beech trees are at peak yellow, but being mostly in the understory beech saplings are best viewed via scenic drives rather than from vistas. In the Northeast a few areas of nice autumn color remain in parts of Monroe and Luzerne counties. A good place to view the last of the fall foliage is Route 209 through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in eastern Monroe and Pike counties. In the northwestern counties of Erie, Crawford, Warren, Forest and the northern half of Venango, many of the trees have lost or are losing their leaves, as the fall foliage season winds down. In the Central Region, which is a funnel-shaped band with its narrow end in southern Wayne and Pike counties, stretching across the central third of Pennsylvania to Fayette, Greene, and Washington counties, widening to the northwest to include Erie and Warren counties.) In the Mid-State counties of Elk, Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton, Lycoming, Union, Centre, Snyder, Juniata, Mifflin, Huntingdon, Perry and Cumberland, Bald Eagle State Forest heavy rain and high winds last weekend knocked many leaves and even limbs to the ground. In Tuscarora State Forest oak-dominated settings are displaying quintessential fall shades of scarlet, russet, and yellow. Hickories and beeches are adding hues of orange and bright yellow, as well. A car trip down any of the valley roads paralleling Blacklog, Tuscarora, Conococheague, Kittatinny or Blue Mountain offers still-vibrant scenery along Routes 103, 35, 75 and 274. In the approximately half-million combined acres of Sproul and Moshannon state forests, most hardwood species' leaves are now on the ground. Noteworthy species retai[...]

Media Files:

14 things you don't know about the opossum

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 10:00:00 UTC


The Virginia opossum is widespread across the eastern U.S., including all of Pennsylvania, but little is commonly known about the animal. Here are some of the fascinating facts about the animal.

Meteors may strike Earth in November

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 19:00:00 UTC


The peak of the Taurid meteor shower is expected November 10-11.

While the Taurid meteor shower in November won't be among the most abundant showers of the year, but astronomers are expecting some bright fireballs.

Peak for the Taurids will be Friday, Nov. 10, to Saturday, Nov. 11, but even then the meteor rate will be just a handful per hour. Best viewing will be just before dawn.

The moon won't provide much interference during the peak of the Taurids. It will be passing through its last-quarter phase.

The Taurids are debris from the Comet Encke, which some years in its orbit around the sun is pushed closer to Earth by Jupiter and then produces more visible meteors. That is not expected again until November 2019, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke.

However, some of the fragments from Comet Encke may be large enough to survive their flight through Earth's atmosphere and make it to the ground, unlike the vast majority of meteors that burn up in the atmosphere.

The Taurids appear to radiate from the constellation Taurus in the southern night sky, but that's unimportant for simple viewing of the meteors as they zip across the sky.

Media Files:

Whitewater's fury to be unleashed on Pennsylvania stream

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:00:00 UTC


Annual release of millions of gallons of water will draw whitewater boaters from across the country to Tohickon Creek in Bucks County. Watch video

Tohickon Creek in Bucks County will be flooded to Class 3 and 4 whitewater rapids Saturday and Sunday, November 4-5.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced that it will begin its annual fall release of millions of gallons of water from Lake Nockamixon, near Ottsville, into Tohickon Creek at 4 a.m. each day.

Each release will create whitewater boating conditions downstream through Ralph Stover State Park near Pipersville from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Most of the whitewater enthusiasts who converge to run the raised stream will launch at Ralph Stover for a four-mile run to the Delaware River at Point Pleasant.

Suggested hours for viewing the release and boating activity are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ralph Stover.

DCNR reminds boaters that the release creates technical whitewater with Class 3 and 4 rapids that require boating skills. They should be aware of and abide by the safety code of the American Whitewater Affiliation, wear appropriate personal flotation devices, take appropriate precautions to prevent hypothermia, and use only craft designed for that type of water. 

The agency does a similar release the third weekend of March.

For more information, contact Nockamixon State Park at 215-529-7300.

Media Files:

Beautiful Pennsylvania: Waterfalls and fall leaves on Northkill Creek

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 10:00:00 UTC


One of the highest quality streams in Berks County, the Northkill Creek near Shartlesville is designated an exceptional value stream and a wild trout stream. Watch video

The Northkill Creek, one of the highest quality streams in Berks County, rises from the side of the Blue Mountain northwest of Shartlesville and descends sharply through a series of small waterfalls.

From its source on State Game Lands 110 south to Shartlesville, the creek is designated an exceptional value stream by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission lists the Northkill as a wild trout stream. Most of the small pools of the headwaters are home to native brook trout.

The creek flows nearly 11 miles south to its confluence with Little Northkill Creek at Bernville and then with Tulpehocken Creek just a bit farther south. In addition to the Little Northkill, major tributaries include Mollhead and Wolf creeks.

A small group of Amish families established a settlement along Northkill Creek at the base of the Blue Mountain in 1736. Family names included Glick, Hartzler, Hetzler, Hostetler, Kauffman, Miller and Jug. After a band of Lenape and Shawnee attached the homestead of Jacob Hochstetler, killed his wife and two children, and took Jacob and two other sons into captivity, the other families fled east and south away from the frontier. Although some returned after the end of the French and Indian War, the settlement eventually was abandoned for good.

(image) Click here for previous installments in the Beautiful Pennsylvania series.

Media Files:

Why is the full moon of November an almost-supermoon?

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:00:00 UTC


The next full moon arrives Saturday, November 4; 1:22 a.m. to be precise.

While the full moon on Saturday, November 4, will be the second-closest full moon to Earth this year, it will not be a supermoon.

It will miss the mark by one day. A supermoon occurs when the full moon comes as the moon reaches perigee, which is its closest distance to Earth. Perigee in November will arrive on Sunday, November 5.

The full moon in November will be an almost-supermoon. While the moon will be at a perigee of 224,587 miles from Earth at 7:10 p.m. November 5, it will be 226,179 miles from Earth when it's full at 1:22 a.m. November 4.

However, some measures name a full moon a supermoon if it occurs when the moon is at 90 percent or greater of perigee. By that definition, the November 4 full moon is a supermoon.

Supermoon is not a scientifically recognized term by the International Astronomical Union, which is the group that names and defines things astronomical.

A full supermoon will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon at apogee, which is the point in the moon's orbit farthest from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth is elliptical, with perigee about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than apogee,

Super or not, the full moon November 4 will be the Beaver Moon. Algonquin tribes knew it as such because it was time to set traps for beavers to obtain some new furs before the waters froze over.

The November full moon also is known as the Frost Moon, generally arriving after the first frost of fall, during the frost season and before snow settles across the landscape.

Here's the details of full moon names throughout the year.

Media Files: