There had been a ton of hype – first total lunar eclipse since _____ (some date – i wasn’t paying that much attention), won’t happen again until 2014, San Diego is in *the* optimal place to see the entire thing, it will be a “blood-red monster,” totality at about 6:37 a.m. (not the middle of the freezing-ass-cold winter night) – so I was pretty wound up last Friday night, expecting lunar fabulosity on Saturday morning. Not as excited as, you know, Christmas Eve when I was four, but still. Mr. Forte was mildly pooh-poohing the whole thing. “It’ll be overcast. It always is.” Right, it always is, but maaaaybe this time …
So I set the alarm on my iPhone and woke up, as usual, right before it went off, stepped into my old floppy Uggs and shrugged on a puffy jacket, loped out the back door … to a stunningly cloudless, star-filled black-before-dawn. Oo-oo, oo-oo-oo I hooted, rounding the outside of the bedroom, dying to say “penumbra” out loud, peering to the west where they said the moon would be huge and red and …
Wow. That’s it? Vaguely red. Red-ish, even. I squinted at the tiny, blurry, pink wafer and checked the time on the phone – 5:51 a.m., well before the moon would be fully eclipsed. Well, maybe that means it will blaze into its full blood-red-monsterish state right at the moment of totality and not a minute before. So, even though the sky was beginning to lighten in the east and the moon was setting fast in the west, I figured, hey, I’m already up and out here, I’ll hang around and see what happens.
I was wishing we had some plants with silver foliage in the back garden because they glow in the dark, but I wasn’t going to brave the last of the season’s spider webs or tempt the neighborhood mountain lion by venturing outside the snake wall to go to the front garden. Are there any white flowers left in the raised bed? Hmmm. Let’s go see.
Some digitalis survivors from summer.
Cotyledon orbiculata a.k.a. one of Nana’s Dr. Seuss plants.
The plant’s flowers hold vampire blood. Repels mountain lions. (Boy, are you gullible.)
Whoops. Look, the sun’s coming up behind the bare pomegranate tree. Better get back to the moon.
So I stop acting like someone’s batty aunt, snapping pictures of flowering plants in the dark of night, wearing my Mr. Magoo Coke bottle glasses and a snow coat over p.j.’s, and get back to the pursuit of scientific revelation and historical significance. Totality is predicted at 6:37 a.m. and we … are … there?
The next day there were several sharply focused photographs of the red moon in the local newspaper and dozens more in the online edition, captured by both amateur and professional photographers all over the county, one from a neighborhood within rock-throwing distance of Casa de Swell. This one was taken by Nelvin C. Cepeda and appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune*:
I had the best intentions, but I think I needed more down-to-earth expectations. And a real camera.
photo credit: http://www.signonsandiego.com/photos/galleries/2011/dec/10/stunning-lunar-eclipse/
Posted in: casa de swell, gardens of eden, laughs, pics, snaps
Tags: adobe soup, blood red monster, candace mann, casa de swell, cotyledon orbiculata, dark of night, digitalis, foxglove, gardening, iphone, lunar eclipse, lunatic, moon, mountain lion, mr. magoo, penumbra, photography, pj's, pomegranate, san diego, total eclipse, uggs, vampire blood
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