Moonrise Quest

Remember the Super Moon phenomenon of October 2015?  Though that night's sky proved to be overwhelmingly overcast, it was the start of a renewed personal love of astronomy.

Every month since then, I've paid keen attention to moon phases so that on clear nights, I can glimpse the rising or setting of the full or waxing moon.  I can't get enough of its fiery red orange hue as it peeks over the horizon.  I also live for the "moon illusion" - its massive appearance on the rise behind trees or skylines; complete with a rich yellow tint.

Two full moons ago, I reported to the beach after wandering the grounds of Fort Mose in North City. I patiently stood near the jetties facing east in anticipation of La Lune.  Eventually, I double checked the moon phase schedule and realized I was an hour early.

I decided to venture north on A1A in search of a more advantageous (higher elevation) beach access.  I zeroed in on a lot that leads to a stairwell, which in turn leads to a fenced-in overpass that ends on the beach.  The fence is decorated with dozens of scattered padlocks. This brings to mind an Anjelah Johnson joke (remember Bon Qui Qui's stint on MadTV?) about a similar bridge in Paris and how couples symbolically "lock themselves in love" by attaching padlocks to a fence then tossing the key in the river Seine. Anjelah jokes that she keeps a spare key in her back pocket in case her man messes up: "Don't play wit me, CLICK!" She's funnier than me.  The joke goes over well on her "Not Fancy" special. 

I need to get a good shot of this French-inspired display.  [Since hand writing a rough draft of this story, I got my shot!]  After crossing the elevated overpass, I was greeted by the full moon.  By now, it had risen partly behind a cloud mass.  I was approached by a family who asked me to take their picture, being sure to catch the moon in the background.  They had a point and shoot camera, which could nicely capture the moon's detail.

Off they went, and back was I to my meditative moon gaze.

A few minutes later, I saw two women approaching with a small dog.  I recognized one of them from Present Moment Café in West Augustine.  During the past year or so, she served me a few raw, organic, vegan dishes at the bar.  We caught up briefly.  She had such an engaging calmness.  Eye contact is a noteworthy thing, and she excelled at it without being phony or excessive.  She and her friend made their way to the shore with the dog and sat inside a pit they must have dug earlier in the day for wind protection.

"What a well thought out idea." I said to myself as I resumed my moon gazing.