The Double Cone Quarterly - Fall Equinox 2004

Journal of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Fall Equinox 2004 -- Volume VII, Number 3

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness!
Some boundless contiguity of shade;
Where rumor of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more.

William Cowper, The Task, Book II (1785)

After the Summer Solstice the sun begins to slack off, following a lower and lower path through the heavens each day resulting in fewer and fewer daylight hours. Come late September it reaches a point where it rises due east and sets due west, with daylight hours exactly equal to those of night - the Equinox. From a celestial/terrestrial point of view, the Autumnal Equinox is significant because it marks one of only two instances during the entire year when the sun is in the sky for exactly twelve hours, no matter where on the face of the earth one might be rambling. From here the wheel slopes and turns and slips ever forward toward the long darknesses of Winter.

Of course the moon also figures in, as yin figures with yang. The full moon closest to the Equinox has long been known as the "Wine Moon," marking the time of year when grapes are coaxed from their vines, crushed, then coerced into casks to create that most sacred of liquids, wine. This same moon has also been referred to as the "Harvest Moon" or "Barley Moon," significant as a time to contemplate the eternalness of life; but only after the barley, hops, rye, and other less important grains have been brought in from the fields in preparation of the long, dark winter to come.

For readers of the DCQ this 2004 Autumnal Equinox is of particular significance, as it marks the 20th issue of the Double Cone Quarterly published to date. Those of us chained to the desks night and day here in the DCQ editorial room hope our esteemed readers will honor the season by settling in with a bottle of wine or a grain-based beverage and enjoying this landmark issue. Then, just for fun, take a little trip through Ventana time by way of our long list of back issues. We think you'll find the collection to be quite a priceless treasure of Santa Luciana. If you agree, by all means feel free to support the cause by either contributing some content to the DCQ or joining the VWA. Or, better yet, both.

With Autumnal Regards,

- The Editors

The Double Cone Quarterly is published four times a year (in theory), on the equinoxes and solstices (or thereabout), by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and can be perused free of charge by all who steer their browsers to the DCQ Issue Index at

Webmonkey & Co-Editor, Maps & Trails: Phil Williamson
Co-Editor, Miscellaneous and Sundry: Boon Hughey
Co-Editor, History & Botany: David Rogers

All articles, photographs, and artwork are copyright ©2004 by their creators.
All rights reserved.