Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice!

What a magical night last night was! The moon rose on the other side of the building I live in, and I didn't see it earlier.

At about 3 am, I looked out the window and didn't see it. It turns out that it was there, but the eclipse had progressed to the point where it was so dark that I didn't notice it.

At quarter after three, I pulled on my coat, grabbed my keys, and went out in front of the apartment building I live in. After just a moment of scanning the sky, I spotted it.

I've seen total lunar eclipses before, and they're usually quite rusty red, but this one was exceptionally dark. It's possible that there was a light cloud cover. I couldn't see any stars, so that's quite possible.

It was a magical experience!

The air was crisp and frosty, and although I was standing in a parking lot, there are trees all around, and the lot is right next to a park. Totally magical!

I went inside, and since I now knew where to look, I was able to track the start of the return of the moon over the next hour or so, when I gave up and went to sleep.

I wanted to take a photo, but from experience, I knew that even a full moon needs some extra contrast to be visible from a camera, and the moon was so dark at totality that I could barely see it, so I knew it would be unphotographable. I put up some photos of previous lunar eclipses in my post yesterday, so if you want to see them, just keep reading when you finish this post.

I've read that it won't happen on the Winter Solstice again for another 400 years.

Today is the day when we have the longest night and the shortest day. But each day until the Summer Solstice will get longer! The moon coming back was a symbol of the hope and happiness of the season.



And if it's the Solstice, can Christmas be far behind? No, four days until Christmas! Keep knitting those presents!

**********************

I intend to make today a day of finishing Christmas projects. I have a bunch of them started and nearly finished. I also intend to write out Christmas cards. I intended to do it last night, but wasn't as organized with my addresses as I thought I was. And I was distracted by the eclipse.

For those knitters out there who are running out of time to finish Christmas presents, (and those that aren't) Knit Picks has a page full of all kinds of freebies! There are free Christmas patterns, gift tags and care tags to print out and, most important, a batch of IOU certificates for those presents that you just couldn't finish!

It's exactly what you need at this point!

Have a wonderful Winter Solstice!

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