Sunday, May 6, 2012

What's That In The Sky?! It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's...May 2012's Super Moon...

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
Tonight's Super/Perigee Moon was beautiful, as all full moons are.  Our local newspaper said that Moon Rise was going to be at 7:59 PM.  Prepped and ready, Glenn and I walked down to the end of the drive to the cul de sac.  The tide was very high, as you can see from the photo above.  The pilings on the dock remains were consumed by the marshy waters, more so than usual.

On the far horizon, more towards the southern end of Tybee, I could see a bright raspberry colored "burning" on the horizon line.  I guessed that was the moon starting to ascend, so I situated the tripod to catch the glowing orb as it came up.  After a couple of minutes the light fizzled out.  Huh...maybe that wasn't the moon, after all.  By then the mosquitos had discovered our presence, and the annoying swatting began.

Before going on a search for the Moon, I gave one final squint in the direction of the earlier "burning" light.  It was then that I caught a ghostly shape lurking behind some blue-grey cloud cover that was hanging low in the sky.  The Moon was there, but veiled.

(Photo elements:  Lisa Erin Brown)
The pictures above show a bit of the gradual unveiling that took place as the Moon continued to rise.  The picture below shows it in all its glory.  Pure magic.  To the naked eye, it appeared much larger.  It's distorted mirror image on the surface of the high water added to the magical vibe.

(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
Some people seem to think that 'Super' Moons are uncommon, but the opposite is true.  I've read some on the subject, and several articles/entries I read said that they happen multiple times a year, but not all of them coincide with Full Moons. I think if you can believe anybody on this subject, it would be NASA.  Here is a link to a NASA site.  There is a short video that covers things.
(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
by:  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As a pale phantom with a lamp
Ascends some ruin's haunted stair,
So glides the moon along the damp
Mysterious chambers of the air.

Now hidden in cloud, and now revealed,
As if this phantom, full of pain,
Were by the crumbling walls concealed,
And at the windows seen again.

Until at last, serene and proud
In all the splendor of her light
She walks the terraces of cloud,
Supreme as Empress of the night.

I look, but recognize no more
Objects familiar to my view;
The very pathway to my door
Is an enchanted avenue.

All things are changed.  One mass of shade,
the elm-trees drop their curtains down;
by palace, park, and colonnade
I walk as in a foreign town.

The very ground beneath my feet
Is clothed with a diviner air;
While marble paves the silent street
And glimmers in the empty square.

Illusion!  Underneath their lies
The common life of every day;
Only the spirit glorifies
With its own tints the sober gray.

In vain we look, in vain uplift
Our eyes to heaven, if we are blind;
We see but what we have the gift
Of seeing; what we bring we find.
(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
"They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the Moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon."

~ Edward Lear  c. 1871, "The Owl & The Pussycat"
(Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)

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