A Rainier burlesque, the super moon make for a lovely evening

An airplane passes in front of the “Super Moon” that was all the rage Saturday. According to NASA as reported by CNN.com, “it is 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter.”
Almost two hours after it broke the horizon, my lovely bride and I finally got a glimpse of the full moon as it rose above the clouds.

They say the moon doesn’t drive you mad.

With all the hullabaloo about it yesterday on social media, I would have to beg to differ.

Sure it is a super moon that just happens to be a full moon— a perigee full moon if one must be formal about it. According to CNN.com from their sources at NASA, “it is 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than most full moons.”

But this feat of celestial synchronicity is still just our moon passing our earth in its monthly cycle.

Earthsky.org argues: “Even the proximity of full moon with perigee isn’t all that rare. The extra-close moon in all of these years – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – finds the full moon taking place at or nearly the same hour as lunar perigee. More often than not, the closest perigee of the year comes on the one day of the year that the full moon and perigee most closely coincide.”

Chart is from earth sky.org.

So, there I was on the lip of our bank at 7 p.m. preparing to photograph this not so rare moment. Right behind me was my lovely bride dutifully feeding the fire on the pit, helping to drive the mosquitos away. We were definitely up for seeing a perigee full moon two days after solstice.

“Where is it going to rise?” she asks.

I consulted my trusted iPhone app “GoSkyWatch” and pointed just a hair south of the mountain from where we could see it, standing on the eastern bank of the Key Peninsula.

But with the shelf of clouds draping over the horizon, there was little chance we were going to see the moonrise.

Mount Rainier’s top turned bright red as the sun set Saturday.
The mountain, like a seasoned burlesque queen, deftly dancing using clouds for cover, until she revealed her magnificent top.

We began watching Mount Rainier as the changes in the cloud movements slowly unveiled, like a graceful burlesque, its magnificent top.

“Wow,” my lovely bride says under her breath. “Are you watching the mountain. It is changing so fast.”

For the next hour and a half, we both watched our mountain strip, lit by our celestial star and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band rocking away in a neighbor’s music box.

Often, the remarkable wonders of this earth are right in front of us.

Another lesson learned my dear, I thought, as I give my lovely bride a hug and a kiss.

“I think it is time for an episode of ‘Law & Order,” I said. “I wonder what Lenny and the gang are up to.”

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