Friday, December 03, 2010

Moonrise On Motion

A winter moonrise... just minutes after sunset. Virginia Beach.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
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"Look how the pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her...."
~ Charles Best, "A Sonnet of the Moon"
Sometimes the final minutes of sunset coincides with the first minutes of moonrise in the eastern sky. When this occurs on a cold early January night with almost clear skies, there is no more magical place to be than at the beach; with a fairly thick coat and a good set of ear muffs to fend off the constant breeze that blows from the east, of course. Very few people venture out to the water when it is this cold and when the sand is blowing and often you are essentially alone with the seagulls, the sand and the stars... and moon. The sound of breaking waves never stops but the white crests are lost in the setting sun.

At first, the moon is a pale orange disk hovering low over the water and still reflecting the orange rays of the setting sun; but slowly and deliberately it ascends in tiny increments... higher and higher... and as it does so, its light seems to intensify and glow, almost to the point of being "icy hot". This seems to be an impossible oxymoron, but look.. the light of the moon turns blue and cold and icy... and yet seems bright enough to burn. This light dispels the darkness of night, just enough to see actual color of the sky and transforms the rolling ocean waves into a swath of dancing diamonds.

The moon ascends to her throne with a mantle of sparkling gems trailing behind.

"How like a queen comes forth the lonely Moon
From the slow opening curtains of the clouds
Walking in beauty to her midnight throne!"
~ George Croly, Diana

(end of post)
Carmi's Theme ~ Night
Skywatch Friday


Ginny Hartzler said...

What amazing pictures! From orange and hot to white icy cold. Of course you are right, it is only the sun making it look orange and hot. But what georgous pictures! My favorite is the first, it is only fleeting moments when the moon looks like that.

kenju said...

I LOVE those orange moons!! and what a terrific quote to go with the photo!

Max said...

Wonderful pictures.  The moon reflecting on the water, the birds on the shore.  Um, I think I'm going to hop the first plane out of here and head for the beach.....

sandra said...

spectacular!!!! and i love being on the beach alone or at least alone with hubby, our favorite thing to do, when no one else is out there we can see all the beauty. i love walking on the beach at just before daybreak

Gemma @ Greyscale said...

Fascinating, romantic shots! Love the colour tones and the mystery!

colleen said...

I love that poem! I saw the same moon and got some decent shots too. But it is so elusive and wild, not easy to capture.

Carmi said...

I will never look at the moon the same way again. I hope to be waterside in the near future. You can bet you've inspired me to find out some moonrise times.

The reflection off the water in the second shot is sublimely beautiful. The gulls in the first one are just surreal. I feel small in both cases. And inspired.

Inger-M said...

I love both pictures, so beautiful! Getting good moon pictures is hard, but you did it!

Rambling Woods said...

I love taking photos of the moon, looking at the's all good. These are very nice....

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