Saturday, October 3, 2009

Watching the Moon

There will be a full moon on October 3 this year, and it is a special full moon day in Chinese Lunar calendar - it is mid autumn festival. In Chinese culture, it is a time for the full house of the family being together, it is time for those far away from hometown to connect spiritually with their kins. Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

Some nights we see the moon, other nights we don't see it; some other times we see the moon in day time. But I really did not know much about moon phases. 2007 I was specially interested in the moon as Nicholas had a home work on recording moon phases during December and we learned a lot about the moon with him, as we read many books about moon together - new moon, waxing, first quarter, full moon, third quarter, waning ... We were trying to take pictures of the moon - unfortunately in that month the moon rose very early in the morning and set early in the afternoon - we did not have a good time to take a picture. One a Wednesday (per time stamp on the photo), I don't remember why, Nicholas and I were at home in the morning - we went out of the door, and a waning moon was there right above our our front yard, and we took this picture.

Occasionally I saw the moon in other color and scenery.

One night in Spring of 2008, we and other 3 families went to Lewisville lake camping. The camping site was on a peninsula. When it's getting dark, the 8 boys (2 from each family) started running around and playing hide and seek. The parents were sitting around and chatting. By chance I looked at east and saw this huge orange ball in the east above the lake, shinning its light on the lake's ripples. "Moon rise!" The boys stopped running and stared at the moon, parents stopped chatting and were amazed by this rare orange moon.

On December 1, 2008, When I went to day care to pick up Nicholas shortly after 6pm, I saw a happy face in the sky - formed by a crescent moon and two stars. I pointed this out to Nicholas to his astonishment. Checking on Dallas Morning News weather section, I found out that the two stars were actually two planets, Jupiter and Venus. The next day NBC news reported this interesting celestial phenomenon in the 5:30pm evening news! It turned out that it was quite a event in the circle of amateur astronomers. I took a picture of this smiley face - but I could not find it now, shown on the right was copied from Internet, it was taken actually from southern hemisphere.

When we travel, we usually do not pay attention to the moon at all. But once we notice it, we always feel something special. This summer we had our first ever cruise. The first night on board, after a formal 4 course 2 hour dinner, we walked on the deck a bit to burn some calorie. When we walked to the bow, a waxing moon was right there in front of us.

In summer 2006, when we had river rafting in Helena Canyon on Rio Grande, the guide told us a story about that people went to canyon during full moon. I could only imagine the white soft light from the moon shining into the canyon where there was no artificial light, reflection from the running water, the dark wall of the canyon in the back light, the sound of the river, singing of insects and beating of the hearts of young couples ..... a tranquility under the spell of the moon. I guess that is when people are moon struck.

A mesmerizing moon appeared right at home one day. A road in front our subdivision, running straight for several miles from east to west, is the road I take every day to go to work. There are trees and homes along the road, no tall buildings. One early morning, when I drove on this road, I drove up a slope, looking ahead, I saw this huge slightly yellowish white moon at the end of the road, right at my eye level!! I was moon struck momentarily .

Moon has its phases, economy has its cycles and life has its ups and downs. All we can do is to enjoy what we have.

References: 1) moon phase for any time of the year . 2) moon rise and set time

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