Blue Ridge Twilight

Block Number: 134

By Ginger Todd


The McDowell Quilt Trail welcomed Block #134. “Blue Ridge Twilight” to the Moose Lodge camper site of Greg and Gail Barksdale on Thursday, June 27, 2013. The Barksdales have been members at the Marion Moose Lodge #1705 since 2006 however this is the first year they’ve had their camper lakeside on the waters of Lake James.

Gail is a Physical Therapist Assistant at Healthy at Home-Blue Ridge, affiliated with the Carolina Health Care System and Greg is the Driver’s Ed Program Specialist in Burke County and auditor for the Program. As the parents of 10 year old twin girls Alexis and Sarah, they find the friendly family atmosphere of the camp ground not only a safe environment for youth, but filled with all sorts of activities to keep them busy. They enjoy their pontoon boat and fishing from their pier as well as having access to the Lodge beach.

The Marion Moose Lodge, Highway 10 at Bellcook Drive, is located on 131 acres of forest and lake front property and is the largest Lodge in North Carolina, the campground being available only to Moose members. They are involved in all sorts of community service projects and fundraisers both large and small but all important. The Lodge is well known for its support of the children of Moosehart and seniors at Moosehaven.

The Barksdales thought a quilt block on their “camper cottage on wheels” would add an attractive asset and allow water enthusiasts on the lake to enjoy its tranquil colors and scene as they passed by on the main channel of Lake James. They are thankful to Barbara Reynolds and Marilyn Reynolds for the idea of the block design, Super Harvest Moon. The common shared love of enjoying mountainous sunsets and evening moon gazing was the inspiration for the decorative theme and detail of Blue Ridge Twilight.

Most people are familiar with the twice a year event called Summer Solstice (longest day of the year) or Winter Solstice (shortest day of the year). A Solstice is when the sun reaches its highest or lowest distance relative to the celestial equator. The name comes from the Latin “sol” meaning sun and “sister”, to stand still, translated to sun standing. This is because the sun seems to stand still before reversing its direction and beginning its next shift. The common names are Summer Solstice (in June) and Winter Solstice (December) for us, however the seasons are opposite in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The beginnings of both solstices are recognized with various holidays and religious festivals, heralding the beginning of the prospective new season.

The Summer Solstice provides an occurrence of what is called a Harvest Moon, typically appearing within a day or two of June 21st and welcoming the arrival of first day of summer. This is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and may have children questioning why they are sent to bed while the sun is still shining!
It’s believed that this midsummer moon was called “Honey Moon” as it was time to harvest bee hives to make mead from fermented honey as a part of the wedding ceremonies. The term honeymoon as used today may have origin in the fact that the full moon of June often looks honey-colored and it is a traditional month for marriages.

Few people, however, may be aware of the “Super Harvest Moon” which occurs only every two decades or so near the beginning of fall (Autumnal Equinox). The Super Harvest Moon, also referred to as the “Supermoon” or “Harvestest Moon”, is a phenomenon see-saw effect that takes place when the Sun will sink in the West just as the full Moon rises exactly opposite to it in the East. This event creates a weird 360-degree twilight show effect that is rarely seen, happening every 19 years or so in mid-September.

The two low-in-the sky light sources mix together and illuminate the sky all around and custom holds that this provided farmers with extra light to “harvest” their crops. The last time we had a Super Harvest Moon was on September 22, 2010 and prior to that September 23, 1991. The next time this rare treat will be witnessed won’t be until the year 2029.

During both Solstices and especially during the fall Super Harvest Moon the low hanging moon on the horizon appears gigantic, much larger than normal, even though it is the same distance away and in both cases shines with the same brightness. There should be no difference but observers perceive one anyway due to a “Moon Illusion”.

This optical illusion is created by a psychological effect of the sky being illuminated by the Sun and Moon at the same time. The Moon appears a brilliant orange, often with pinkish hues, as a result of the scattered light in the great thickness of the earth’s dusty atmosphere. Sometimes you just can’t believe your eyes, but you don’t need anything special to enjoy these shows, just make sure to have a clear view to both the East and West!

The Blue Ridge Twilight block displays and is meant to represent the Super Harvest Moon and was given its name by the Barksdales who especially enjoy sitting on their deck watching gorgeous sunsets and the moon as it rises over Lake James in the evening. It portrays the sun setting in the west just as the moon is rising in the east with the waters of the lake in the foreground. Our Blue Ridge Mountains and the sky with lingering clouds are represented in the many shades of color that can occur during this special time. Pine trees, a brilliant star and a camper along the water’s edge complete the serene landscape.

The block is a 36 inch by 75.5 inch rectangle and was installed on the back side of the Barksdale’s camper by volunteer artist and builder Mike Lucas. Jill Lucas, Chairwoman of the McDowell Quilt Trail Committee of volunteers, presented the Certificate of Authenticity to the family. This block may be seen only from the water, so next time you are out enjoying our beautiful resource be sure to swing by the Moose Lodge facility on the Catawba River side of the lake to take in this interesting scene.

image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight image of quilt block called Blue Ridge Twilight