Moon and Meteors


Full summer moon (J Jacobs)

Full summer moon (J Jacobs)

Primarily known as the “Buck Moon” because male deer antlers are full grown, July’s full moon will be at peak illumination early morning July 21 (5:17 a.m. CT). But you will see it full at night on July 20 through July 22

Other Native American July moon names also reflect animal behavior, nature and plants such as Salmon Moon, Berry Moon and Thunder Moon.

However, you don’t want a full moon if looking for the Delta Aquariids , often called Souther Aquariids from Comet 96P/Machholz when they fly overhead from July 18 to Aug. 21, 2024. They peak July 30 but are not numerous at 15 to 20 an hour and not bright. Also, they are more visible in the Southern Hemisphere and Southern US.

So be patient because the popular Perseids which zoom overhead late July to early September, will peak about Aug. 12 with more than 90 meteorites per hour. 

For more information visit Buck Moon: Full Moon in July 2024 |, EarthSky Perseids and NASA.

Art Fairs as a destination


Sometimes you get lucky when traveling and come across a fun place to stop, and even shop. Such is Ann Arbor, MI which merits a drive for its triple art fairs but combined under the name Ann Arbor Art Fair, July 18-20, 2024.

They are three separate non-profit fairs that fill the streets from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. that Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. 

Drawing about half a million visitors, they combine to be the country’s largest juried art showing of works by about 1,000 artists and cover about 30 city blocks, so wear comfortable shoes.

Where to take a break: Zingerman’s Deli which has a barrel of the old fashion kind of pickles and yummy corned beef. For more art fiar info click on Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original, The Guild’s Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and Ann Arbor State Street District Art Fair.

For places to stay and other places to eat visit Destination Ann Arbor | Visit Ann Arbor, MI.

booth at Port Clinton Art Festival (J Jacobs photo)
Booth at Port Clinton Art Festival (J Jacobs photo)

Another good art fair destination is the Port Clinton Art Festival in downtown Highland Park, IL, Aug 24-25, 2024. It is a third smaller than the triple AA Fair at nearly 300 booths, but the fair is also juried and ranked among the best in the country.

For a break look for That Little French Guy Patisserie on St. Johns Ave. across from the Metra train station. Everything is good here so take something to go along with the art.

Strawberry moon and summer solstice


Full moon (J Jacobs photo)
Full moon (J Jacobs photo)

If you noticed the moon looks brighter, closer and fuller even on June 19, two days before it’s full, you are right.

The June full moon will appear at 8:08 p.m. CT June 21, 2024 and will look extra-large because it is the lowest full moon we have seen in years. It’s just an illusion.

  Also, because it is low it will appear more reddish orange due to the atmosphere and not because it is called the Strawberry Moon. That name recognizes the fruit that is often ripe about the same mid-June time.  Other names are rose moon, honey moon, mead moon, berries ripen moon, planting moon and green corn moon. 

After sunset, look southeast to see it rise over the horizon. For the time it rises locally see Full Moon Calculator.

In addition, the June moon is special this year because it happens at the same time as the summer solstice, when we in the northern hemisphere experience the longest day. 

For more information visit Old Farmer’s Almanac and Time and Date and June Solstice 2024: Shortest & Longest Day of the Year (

Art on the Door


View from Peninsula State Park (JJacobs photo)
View from Peninsula State Park (J Jacobs photo)

You may be driving up to Door County, WI, a north-easterly finger jutting out into the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, to vacation in charming seaside villages with good shopping, casual eateries, relaxing scenery and outdoor fun such as sailing, golfing, hiking and biking.

However, once you get there you realize after passing several galleries, art studios and numerous potters that Door County is also an art colony.

You can take art classes or try your hand at creating jewelry, glass-like sculpture and ceramics and also visit artists in their studios.

Plus, you should have no trouble finding paintings, pottery, jewelry and glass pieces to take home or give as holiday presents.

Even if you are going to spend most of the vacation exploring, relaxing or playing, you are likely to stop at a gallery.

So, first stop should be the Visitors Center, (Destination Door County) 1015 Green Bay Road, in Sturgeon Bay. It’s on your right before you reach the canal bridge and cross onto the main vacation part of the peninsula.

Pick up the “arts guidebook” (Not in caps) which has an excellent map (but you can also get a larger map at the Center.

Door County Coffee and Teas (J Jacobs photo)
Door County Coffee and Teas (J Jacobs photo)

If you are not staying in Sturgeon Bay you might want to take a latte break at Door County Coffee and Teas, 5773 Hwy 42, Sturgeon Bay (actually Carlsville) before continuing on the peninsula so you can look through the arts guide before checking in to your condo or inn.

Door County Coffee and Teas is where many folks stop when they get to the Door and then when they leave it.

You won’t get to all the places listed in the book. Really.

Here are some favorites:

Plumb Bottom Gallery, Plum Bottom Gallery

4999 Plumb Bottom Rd., Egg Harbor. It’s potter Chad Luberger’s first place and now he and wife, jewelry maker Angerla Olson Luberger, have four galleries.


Hands On studio (J Jacobs photo
Hands On studio (J Jacobs photo

Take a look at the studios on the grounds of Hands On Art Studio, 3655 Peninsula Players Rd, Fish Creek. If you like what you see schedule a time to return and create. I made a piece similar to these which look very much like what I saw later at the Art Institute of Chicago store but anyone could do it.

Edgewood Orchard Galleries

Edgewood Orchard Home – Edgewood Orchard Galleries, 4140 Peninsula Players Rd. Fish Creek. Best if you wore walking shoes because many of the sculptures are on paths through the trees. Leave time to visit the two floors of the main gallery.

Fine Line Designs Gallery and Sculpture Gardens 

Fineline Designs Gallery. 10376 Hwy 42, Sister Bay (actually at Ephraim’s north end). Good gallery but also found fun outdoor items to bring home.

Ellison Bay Pottery  12156 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI Longtime Door County potter. Call to check hours (920) 854-5049.

While at Ellison Bay Pottery follow the signs to The Clearing, a folk school at 12171 Garret Bay Rd.  The Clearing | The Clearing Folk School. The building and grounds are worth a stop but also ask for the classes and programs brochure. 

Jodie Jacobs





Flower Moon

April full moon (J Jacobs photo)
April full moon (J Jacobs photo)

It may be hard to look up at May’s full moon when it appears on Thursday without thinking of the tragic, multi-nominated, award-winning movie produced and directed by Martin Scorsese and co-written by Eric Roth.

The movie is a true-crime drama. When oil was discovered on the Osage Nation property in Oklahoma during the Flower Moon festival in the 1920s it resulted in several Osage murders by people who wanted their oil rights and property.

As many readers of “Travel Smart with Jodie” know, the full-moon articles often note that the moon names come from different sources ranging from Native American tribes to European countries and reflect what is happening at that time in nature.

Other names are Budding Moon and Leaf Budding Moon (Cree)Planting Moon (Dakota and Lakota).

Except that moon names are annual, this year of 2024, it might also be called the cicada moon because at least in northern Illinois, the 17-year cicadas are just beginning to emerge.

No matter what you want to call the May moon it actually reaches full illumination at 9:53 a.m. EDT, the morning of May 23 but looks full on May 22 and will still look full on May 24. The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells when it is visible where you live on its Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

Also find more information at Flower Moon: Full Moon in May 2024 | The Old Farmer’s Almanac at May’s full moon is called the Flower Moon ( and Flower Moon Is the Full Moon in May (

Meteor shower tonight


Meteor shower (Photo courtesy of NASA)

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

Look up tonight. The Eta Aquarids, named for the constellation Aquarius from where they seem to radiate, has been shooting stars since April 19 and will continue to do so through May 28 but their peak is this weekend.

They have been known to reach 50 meteors per hour. Although they can be seen in both hemispheres, they are supposed to be easier to catch in the southern hemisphere.

Their parent comet is 1P/Halley but for more information visit Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 2024 (

Plant a tree or visit Morton Arboretum for Arbor Day


Maybe you were busy when Earth Day rolled around last weekend. The day was April 22 but celebrated in several forest preserves all weekend. Now you have another chance to communicate with nature this Friday, April 26 to plant a tree or otherwise celebrate Arbor Day.

A great place to celebrate Arbor Day is the Morton Arboretum, located in suburban Lisle, IL. The Morton Arboretum is holding plant sales and walking tours but going there is more than just visiting an Illinois treasure. It is perfect for an Arbor Day celebration.


The Lyrids are here


Meteor shower (Photo courtesy of NASA)

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

How to “catch” a falling star? Go outside somewhere without a distracting light, Dress for the weather and be patient.

One of the oldest known meteor showers, the Lyrids, will be peaking tomorrow on Earth Day.  Best is to watch for them late Monday night and very early Tuesday morning.

They tend to average about 18 per hour but have been known to shoot out as many as 100 meteors per hour. However, the moon which is almost full, now, might make the meteors harder to catch.

These meteors are very bright but they move fast. Their velocity is 29 miles (47 kilometers) per second.

The Lyrids started about April 15 and will last until April 29 but the highest number will be seen shooting across the sky before dawn, April 23. 

First reported by the Chinese in 687 BC, the Lyrids’ radiant is Constellation Lyra with C/1861 G1 Thatcher as its comet of origin.

For more information visit EarthSky, NASA Science and Space.

Pink Full Moon not really pink


(JJacobs March 2024 full moon photo)

Look for April’s full moon next week. Peak illumination will be 6:49 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 23,2024.  But even though it is named the Pink Moon, it won’t take on a rosy shade. 

Moon names often reflect what is happening in nature so pink is for the color of the phlox blooms that usually show up in the eastern part of North America in April. 

Called Phlox subulata, it is a creeping or spreading form of the wild flower also called moss phlox. 

Other names for the April moon depend on when in the month it appears full and how close to Easter and Passover or weather changes it happens. So sometimes it is called the Paschal or Egg Moon or the Breaking Ice Moon, Budding Moon and Awakening Moon.

The moon will also look full April 22 and April 24 so if the sky is cloudy you can also capture its fullness the day before and after.

For more information visit The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Time and

Spring events you should know

There’s still time to plan a visit to see Tulip Time in Holland Michigan. ( J Jacobs photos)

The eclipse is here and gone and it was great – maybe beyond most expectations. But there are more interesting and fun events coming this spring.

 First, there are Earth Day walks in your area forest preserves and at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum

Earth Day/s April 21-22

The Lake County Forest Preserves Hasting Lake site, 21155 W. Gelden Rd., Lake Villa, has an Earth Day walk April 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. (Shelter A)

This is a chance to visit and explore an area is the western part of the county you may not have visited before. Its for all ages and no registration is needed but adult supervision is required. (No pets but service dogs ok)

Event includes free, guided hikes and crafts. For more information visit Earth Day: The Official Site | EARTHDAY.ORG

 Chicago Botanic Garden

Also, April 21 at 2.p.m. is a 45 minute guided walk at McDonald Woods in Glencoe, IL (or do your own walk here at any time). There is a choice of a short (1/3 mile or longer loop of a 2/3 mile. (walks canceled if heavy rain) Parking and Garden admission charged for nonmembers. For more information visit Earth Day Walk in McDonald Woods | Chicago Botanic Garden


Tulip Time May 4-12

Then, in early May, tulips will be coloring the downtown landscape, parks and Windmill Island in Holland MI during Tulip Time, the towns, big, annual flower festival. Plus, there are traditional dances to watch and other activities during the fest. Tulip Time is worth the trip so book a B’n’B or hotel and get to know the town, its heritage and visit its wooden shoe factories on the outskirts of downtown. For more information visit Tulip Time.