Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

[I figured we should have a little astronomy before Monday.]

Just a few blocks from our house in Winona, there is a spit of land beyond the levee that juts out into the Mississippi. Boat trailers can be driven down to put in (and pull out) their boats. Even farther out are chunks of concrete that you can climb over, and once you get all the way out there, you feel like you’re right in the river. It’s a great place to watch ducks and other water birds, and the barges being pushed by the (ironically-named) tugboats.

During the warmer months, on the evenings of the full moon, we go there at sunset, climb out and look West until the sun goes down behind (in this case) the hills in an island in the river. Then we turn ourselves 180 degrees to the East, and wait for the moon to come up. It’s tricky to predict exactly where it will rise * – and the orb is hard to see because it’s still quite light out. But finally it appears:  a big golden- orange roundness edging up into the sky, and it’s thrilling each time we do this.

Before I met Husband, he lived in the country up on the ridge, where he was able to see lots of sunsets. Because of the tilt of Earth’s axis and its rotation, each night the sun goes down (* and the moon comes up) at a little different spot on the horizon. These photos were taken on the July 9 full moon by my friend Angela. In August the sun went down considerably to the left of that hill you see, and the moon also came up left of what’s pictured.

Tell about a memorable solar, lunar, or stellar event in your past.

Any baboons traveling to see the solar eclipse?


29 thoughts on “Moonrise/Sunset”

  1. The cabin we had on the shores of Lake Superior faced north and west. On the eastern side, Roman’s Point blocked our view of sunrises, but we had an unfettered view of sunsets. And that was a good tradeoff. Some sunsets were spectacular, filling the sky with exotic colors and distinctive patterns.

    The summer sun set by drooping down the western sky until it disappeared behind Bark Point, a finger of land extending into the lake. In May, the setting sun touched land on the far left edge of the point. Week by week the sun set further out along the point until the Summer Solstice, when it disappeared from view well beyond the reach of Bark Point. Then the sky would go dark by imperceptible degrees until the creatures of the night became active. Bats would zoom the skies grabbing bugs while the raspy bark of foxes punctuated the darkness.

    Whatever we had been doing, when the sun began to set we stopped to take it in. We usually wouldn’t speak while we watched the sun set. Those are now sweet, sweet memories now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I am not traveling to see the Eclipse, but I am loaning my son my car so he can do so. Monday is my birthday, so I am telling everyone that I am getting a Solar Eclipse for my Birthday. Hah! Beat that as a gift.

    Meanwhile, I think I have told the story here before of camping in a relative’s yard in Kansas when I was a child. All week there were meteor showers, which we called “falling stars” at that time. Falling asleep amidst falling stars and locust song was magic.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In the Leonid meteor shower of 1833, meteors fell at an estimated rate of 72,000 an hour. This unprecedented (in living memory) spectacle is considered a prime trigger for the intense religious revivalism of the 1830s and 1840s. Here’s a wood engraving of the experience:

    I was in a cabin just north of Duluth one summer at the purported peak of the Perseid meteor shower. It was a perfectly clear and moonless night and the light pollution was minimal. We stood outside craning our necks for at least an hour and didn’t see a single meteor. You can see more than that on any average night.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We saw lots of falling stars a number of years ago when our son was a preschooler during a Persied meteor shower. It was magical.

    I knew a star gazing anesthesiologist who liked to lay outside no matter the temperature if the sky was clear, and he had a timer in his pocket that would go off to wake him if he fell asleep in the winter so he wouldn’t succumb to hypothermia.


  5. A number of years ago I was in Chicago doing interviews from my hotel room when I realized that I totally clips was going to happen tomorrow at noon and that I had a full day scheduled of interviews
    The noon appointment was waiting in the lobby and I went down early to tell him that I was going to go out and see the eclipse and if you want to come we could do the interview there and he wasn’t very interested so I gave him his interview in the lobby and went out into the parking lot to get away from the hotel and make it feel like I was commuting a little bit with nature as much is gonna be done in Chicago in the parking lot and got to experience the eclipse as it went from
    and almost totally covered son to a totally covered son to an almost totally covered son in a matter of two or three minutes

    you got to appreciate how still everything God as it went from darkish to green black and then back to darkish again

    reminded me a lot of the concurrent sunrise sunset in Alaska on 1 July that I experienced where the sun never really goes down it just about goes down and then comes back up again

    I wish I was going this time but I’ve got a full plate right now and I’m not able to do it daughter goes off to school on Tuesday employee starts on Monday so I will be viewing a partial eclipse from the parking lot of my warehouse

    i’m off to go do a camping trip this weekend my partner canceled so it’s a solo camping trip and I’m really looking forward to that

    Liked by 1 person

        1. i tried typing on my [hone 4 or 5 times and had issues with each. i ended up dictating driving down the road just to get it off my to do list. i didnt re read it until now. i noticed my phone is having difficulty with the dictation feature. more than my fingers brain difficulties that exist every day


  6. I remember seeing my first solar eclipse when I was nine years old; at least it was the first that I recall. Dad had been talking about it for days, trying to explain the phenomenon and getting me excited about it. I recall him making pieces of glass dark with soot from a candle through which to view it. We were careful to not smudge or otherwise rub off any of the thick black soot, and I was instructed to hold the glass close to my eyes when looking toward the sun. He warned me that if I looked directly at the sun without the glass I’d burn my eyes and go blind. All the hype and preparation for the event made the actual eclipse almost anticlimactic. I recall not being overly impressed. It did come in handy, though, when a couple of years later I was reading about Pippi Longstocking using her knowledge of an upcoming solar eclipse to her advantage. I knew what she was talking about.

    Not exactly sure what constitutes a stellar event, but I’m thinking that the Northern Lights must be included. I’ve seen them in both Greenland and northern Minnesota a couple of times each; they are mesmerizing. There’s nothing better than sitting on a boat dock jutting out into a dark lake surrounded by forest sipping wine while Mother Nature puts on one her silent, colorful displays. Takes your breath away – as did that previous sentence. Sorry.


  7. I remember a solar eclipse when I was a kid, I’m guessing 5 or 6. I took the injunction to not look directly at the sun very seriously: I walked around outside staring fixedly at the ground.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi–
    I remember a few other partial eclipses. And I have photos of the last lunar eclipse, but they’re not as dramatic as solar ones. I’m not planning on trying to photograph this one.
    I’ll be at the college so I’m planning on taking my welding helmet along and will stand on my dock and watch it. It’s the first day of classes in fact.

    I remember in elementary school making the pin hole thing and showing it on a card. I thought that was pretty cool.
    Back in 2012 (I had to look this up) there was the ‘Transit of Venus’ and the astronomy department had set up a telescope with some sort of contraption to allow us to view it.
    I had 1/2 hour between shows and we waited 20 minutes for a cloud to move…

    Fun stuff, all of this!

    Liked by 2 people

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