“And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless …
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.”
~ Edward Hirsch
A few weeks ago the sentiments above reflected our weather; but soon they were erased as the thermometer’s mercury raced past 100 degrees. October has arrived but summer’s heat struggles to hang on. My recollections of past years reassure me; summer will soon fade into memories. Until then, I decided to enjoy the bonus summer-like days. Last Sunday, I took full advantage with a swim and a “Lunar Eclipse Party.”
A rare astronomical event – a “Blood Moon” is certainly deserving of a celebration. After all, the next Blood Moon (the combination of a super moon and a total lunar eclipse) isn’t until 2033. The weather forecast affirmed ideal visibility conditions. The evening’s temperatures remained at 80 degrees. The next consideration was the menu. Something simple was a necessity as our eyes were focused skyward.
I should have served General Food’s Tang, “the drink of astronauts,” but instead we had margaritas. Trying to be moon themed, round mozzarella-covered pizza was our main course. Dessert? Moon Pies were the real winner in the “Best Lunar Eclipse Theme” category. Just like the first moon landing, Moon Pies are all American.
So how in the world does a Moon Pie relate to weather? Perfectly well, thank you … read on.
The evening prior to the celestial event I watched the moon rise documenting its time and location. Our pool deck provided an unobstructed view. After checking the weather report we were assured of clear skies. Chairs faced the northeastern sky, drinks served and pizzas delivered, so let the show begin.
A curtain of high clouds was slow in opening; it wasn’t until the eclipse reached totality that the moon was finally revealed. During the wait, I read the Moon Pie box. Interesting story, I read aloud … One evening in 1917, a Chattanooga bakery traveling salesman stopped in a small coal mining town. He asked the miners to tell him what kind of snack would be the ideal one. Pondering a bit, they concluded it needed to taste good and fill them up. One man held his hands up to the evening sky, forming a circle around the moon, and added, “About that big!” And so it came to be … a Moon Pie.
By Sunday, autumn weather returns. Cooler temperatures and a chance of rain are this weekend’s forecast. Perhaps summer has finally surrendered.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.