Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blue Sky Moon (a hippie name if ever there was one).


We were headed north over the Alex Fraser Bridge. A voice from the back seat said, "Daddy, why is the moon following us?" An enormous yellow-orange moon was racing along the tree tops of north Delta. My response was that it could smell our Swiss Chalet take-out. The moon loves that Swiss Chalet sauce. She didn't buy it.

Today the moon did something even more alarming. It appeared in a clear blue sky on the way to school. "Daddy, why is the moon up? It's not night time now." I explained that the moon comes up at a different time every day and that it is often in the sky during day time but we don't notice it because of the direction the sun is shining. She didn't buy it.

Astronomy has always been on the periphery of my interests, never near the bulls-eye. I think it's because I have spent most of my life in large cities, where the night sky is obliterated by light pollution. When I was working in Bermuda, my Bermudian naturalist friends were appalled by my lack of astronomical knowledge, including my understanding of the timing of moon rise and set. For them the sky is as obvious as your back yard. It's as much a part of their world as the ocean that surrounds them, going up and down twice a day, in concert with the moon.

I have, by the way, told my daughter that it is the moon that makes the tide go in and out. She didn't buy it.

Even bluer.

1 comment:

Wanderin' Weeta said...

"She didn't buy it"

Well, no, not after the Swiss Chalet sauce explanation; who could blame her?

We saw that large orange moon, driving home that evening. It was amazing, seen between trees; almost on top of us. Later, over flat fields, it moved away and became just an orange moon.