Another thing Ilove about living at the beach is that you have a clear view of the moon rise in the eastern sky. You can watch it come forth from the ocean, especially stunning in full moon phase when it hovers low and oversized and golden over the ocean waters at twilight. Really spectacular moon risings at just the right time happen only a few times during the year.
You have to catch a rising moon in its early moments because it quickly loses its luminous quality and jumbo size and becomes ordinary. The kind you notice but rarely give a second glance. Today’s moon was (supposed to be) different: it was predicted that this December moon would appear 14 % larger and 30 % brighter than the 11 previous full moons of this year. This was due to the moon’s certain proximity to the earth and whatnot. Moon rise was 5:26pm and skies were clear, which promised a great view and sunset hues. I was excited because a killer moon rise at sundown is something I manage to see about once a year. Having waited on the beach to see the Harvest moon rising into a night sky back in October and being underwhelmed (last minute clouds formed at the horizon obscuring the moon’s arrival for several minutes so that when it was finally visible it had lost its magic) didn’t diminish my interest in this December moon. After all, this moon was to be the biggest and brightest moon of all.
Two things. I didn’t make it to the beach entirely on time for the moon rise. Too much vacillating at home about whether or not to go meant that I missed the first several minutes of the full moon rising and therefore, its spectacular debut. Secondly, the Canon Elph. It’s no Canon Rebel. My little pocket camera has been entirely satisfying in most ways but when you need a telephoto lens it just won’t do. Absent the desired digital SLR and my late arrival, I snapped a few pictures of the moon that just…wasn’t. Pretty, yes, it reflected onto the water romantically, and it was a perfect December evening at sunset with a nice Florida chill.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked this moon even if it wasn’t the spectacular moon I’d for. But, the Elph did this moon no favors. Still, it didn’t appear to me to be 14 % larger or 30 % brighter… but it was a lovely moon. Certainly lovelier than the Elph conveys.
Scampering off the walkway I passed a neighbor in possession of the camera and lens of my dreams, snapping her own photosof my December moon. I’d like to see her pictures but they wouldn’t be my own, which is the whole point, isn’t it?
Presenting my December moon: an average full moon rising at the end of an above average week. And that’s good enough for me.
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Jeannie Greenwald is a blogger, neighborhoods / 'go local' evangelist, hobbyist photographer, and degreed psychologist.