Howling at the moon

Coyotes and wolves have howled when the moon is out since Ancient Greek and Roman times. Hecate and Diana, goddesses of the moon, hung out with wild dogs in the night. 

In Norse mythology it is dogs running across the sky that chase the moon and sun for day and night to occur.

But did you know studies have shown coyotes and wolves don't really howl at the moon? More simply, they howl more when the moon is bright and the light makes their nocturnal activities easier.

They lift their heads to the sky to project the sound in the best way possible. And they are heard more often in the colder months when nights are longer and their mating season is on.

I find it interesting that the expression “howling at the moon” when used for people signifies pining for something that is out of reach or unattainable. If the animals use the moon as a tool to achieve even more and communicate farther, why would we not be able to make it work for us? I say it's worth a try.

Howling can act as a GPS signal, a rally cry, an alarm or even just to form a harmony. All these are worthwhile acts and valuable to the community as well as the individuals. In the same way, our figurative howling can be valuable.

As the cold long nights get longer and more pervasive, why not make the most of it? Maybe your howling is just for a bit of fun, like those pack harmonies. Or perhaps you want to gather inspiration for a goal or a new project. Even if you just want to be in the moment, a starry night is a great moment to take in.

Since we don't really have the ability to raise our snouts and howl, a nice cup of something warm would help set the mood. I like homemade hot chocolate:

  • fill your favourite mug with milk
  • Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and put on medium heat
  • Stir in 2-1/2 ounces of  chopped semisweet chocolate
  • Add 1 teaspoon honey
  • Sprinkle in a bit of spice - I like 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger for my large mug (you can try 1/4 tsp cayenne if you like it really spicy)
  • Whisk till ell blended. Pour into your mug once warm.

Howling at the moon might be about simple semantics, but that doesn't mean it can't be romantic too. 

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories