wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Waxing Gibbous?

“Waxing gibbous”…. This expression made me think of a group of gibbons depilating themselves. After all, the hairless chest is the look these days (in some people’s opinion).

But no, waxing gibbous refers to when the moon is waxing (growing) towards becoming fully illuminated by the sun.

I learned a new word today when I finally looked up “gibbous” instead of just using the word ignorantly. It means “convex or protuberant” – sticking out, like bulgy eyes. I think they used that choice of words because the gibbous phase of the moon is when it is more than half but not quite full.

I grew up with the phrase “the man in the moon” and I still see two eyes and a mouth when I look at the moon.

However, while visiting in Baja,  I met a friend there who told me they call it the rabbit in the moon, “el conejo en la luna.”  Sure enough, when I looked for a rabbit, I saw it. There he is in the photo below. He’s facing to the left with his long floppy ears streaming over his back. Do you see him? They even have a legend about how he got there.

Quetzalcoatl was tired and hungry. He had traveled far, so he sat down by the side of the road to rest. A little rabbit came along and chatted with him. When the rabbit learned that Quetzalcoatl was hungry, he offered him vegetables to eat, but Quetzelcoatl said he didn’t care much for veggies. He needed something more substantial.

“But I’m only a small insignificant rabbit, and this is the only food I have to offer,” the rabbit said.

Quetzalcoatl was moved by the humility and generosity of the rabbit and he rose up to the moon with the rabbit. He said, “Now you will no longer be insignificant, but be seen and admired by everyone forevermore.”

My own opinion about this legend is, that’s all very nice, but no one asked the rabbit if he wanted to spend the rest of his life up there on the cold lonely moon. It reminded me of people who help blind people cross the road when all they wanted to do was stand on the street corner.

So what do you see? The man or the rabbit? Or both?

Whichever you see, as of this morning’s full moon, it is no longer waxing, but will start waning. Sigh, now I should do a post about Wayne….


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The Eclipse Lesson

Last night, when I took the dogs out, I was surprised that it was so dark. The moon should have been lighting up the yard as brightly as a cool sun.

I didn’t know until that moment that I was seeing a lunar eclipse. The moon was partly blocked and yet the sky was completely clear of clouds. The shape that darkened out the moon resembled the rounded top of the earth blocking out the sun that had just set behind me a few hours earlier.

I hurried back into the house to get the camera and clumsily took a few photos.

Much later in the evening, the moon was back to normal, shining reflected sunlight from its full, beaming face.

“Hey Sunshine!” called the moon one day,

“It’s time for you to leave.

Romantic lovers always say,

In moonlight they believe.

They do not need your heat, Old Man,

They’re hot enough alone.

My light is better, and it can

Inspire a kiss and moan.”

“Ah, you know nothing, Loony One,

My rays bring winter thaws,

The people crave my  warmth and fun,

They love me without pause.

I bring them light the whole day long,

It’s easier to see,

I brighten spirits into song,

And I know they love ME.”

“That’s nonsense, my dear Sunnyboy,

What garbage you can spew,

I light the night, I won’t be coy,

I’m simply better than you.”

“But, Loony, don’t you understand,

You’re nothing, can’t you see?

By day or night, it’s my command,

The light all comes from me.”

“So prove it,” Loony smugly cried,

“You’ll never shine at night.”

“That’s fine,” the sun said, “I’ll abide,

I have no need to fight.”

The sun then hid behind the earth,

And waited out of sight.

The moon, eclipsed, had lost his worth,

When he was without light.

The moon no longer talks so big,

He wanly glides afar,

The sun just smiles and does a jig,

He’s, after all, a star.


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Lunacy

The moon was full just a couple of days ago, on November 22.

Somehow, by brightening the night sky, the moon helps take away the gloom of the dull, cloudy days we’ve been having.

I took this picture from my back door, quick, quick, before the moon disappeared behind a cloud.

The moon is associated with magical and mythical things: omens, spells, fictitious creatures (vampires) and of course, with love.

Some moon expressions I have found:

Mooning around — to pine or grieve about something.

Moon someone — to show someone one’s nude posterior.

Moonshine — high-proof distilled spirits, usually produced illicitly.

Moonlight — work at two jobs.

Reach for the moon — aim for a high goal.

Over the moon — to be extremely happy.

The man in the moon — the shadowy shape on the moonscape that looks like a man’s face.

Promise the moon — make a promise that is impossible to keep.

Go between the moon and the milkman — take flight between dark and dawn.

Moonraker — a light square sail set above the sky sail.

Once in a blue moon — seldom (as when a full moon occurs twice in one month).

Shoot the moon — to take a great risk for great rewards.

Bay at the moon —  make appeals in vain.

The moon is made of green cheese – not really the colour green, but referring to the pale yellow colour of “green” (unripe) cheese.

Moon over —  waste time pining or grieving.

Moon-blindness (mooneye) – recurrent inflammation of a horse’s eye, often resulting in eventual blindness.

Lunatic – unstable person.

Loony – crazy.

Honeymoon – holiday immediately after getting married.

Moonface — a round face.

Moonstruck — very much in love.

Moondog (Mock moon) — a relatively rare bright circular spot on a lunar halo, caused by the refraction of light from ice crystals in cirrus clouds.

The Moonies — a religious cult that had a strong hold on (usually) young people they recruited. Named for its Korean founder Sun Myung Moon.

Blood moon — the reddish colour of the moon when it is in eclipse between the earth and the sun.

And then there is our Canadian dollar – the loonie. I suppose it was meant to be named after that beautiful bird, the loon, but to me is seemed like lunacy to downgrade our currency by making our dollar into a piece a small change.

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Do you know of some moon expressions?  How about moon boots? The list seems to be endless.

 


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It was a sunny day

Think RED. Now imagine this full moon as red as the ring around it. That’s how it really looked. The smoke in the air gave the moon the colour of blood. I’m sorry my camera doesn’t show how red it was.

I thought it was interesting that the end of a tree branch is silhouetted against the moon’s face.

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The moon.

The next day, as Paul Simon said …

It was a sunny day,

Not a cloud was in the sky.

Not a negative word was heard,

From the people passing by.

Not clouds made of water anyway. It would have been a bluebird sky if it wasn’t for the smoke. The sun was so red last evening that I thought I was looking at the red planet in a science fiction movie. It was eeeeeeeerie! Again, the photo doesn’t show the true colour I saw. Like the moon the night before, the sun was blood red. Today it’s more of the same. Smoke fills the skies.

We have natural disasters all over the world. Wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. These are all extremely hard to deal with. What I don’t understand is why we need to add man-made disasters (terrorism, political power struggles, crime, and war) to the mix.

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The sun.

I just had a note from WordPress letting me know this was my 500th post. My first reaction was, “Wow! Isn’t that great?” but then I thought, “Uh-oh! Am I talking too much?” 😉


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The Eyes of the Sun

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun….

But Mama …. that’s where the fun is….

If you don’t feel like going back in time for a whole seven minutes, you can advance the toggle to the 4:48 point and hear the famous lines that Mama told Manfred Mann.

With the total eclipse of the sun taking place tomorrow, Monday, August 21st, warnings have been everywhere about not looking at the sun, even if you think it feels okay. Those rays will still burn. “Your eyes blaze out” should just be a fun expression, not a medical emergency that becomes a permanent condition.

I’ve heard all about the special glasses you can buy – don’t be tempted just to use sunglasses. That won’t do the trick. You can also put a tiny hole in a piece of cardboard and watch the eclipse happening as a silhouette on the ground.

Somehow it doesn’t seem enough, but as tempting as it is, I won’t look into the sun to be blinded forever.

I read somewhere that even taking several short glances at the sun can result in temporary vision damage that can last for months.

I must thank my sister-in-law for the reminder to keep the pets inside! Dogs may be wondering what is going on and look at this phenomenon, even briefly.

I’m going to do the cardboard thing and/or watch it on TV.

It’s kind of a fun and exciting thing though, scientifically speaking. I look forward to not seeing this event. Ha ha.

PS I have to add a disclaimer. Not responsible if, like me, you get this song on the brain after you listen to it.

 


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Like a Lamb

This year, March came in “like a lion,” as any herring fisherman will tell you.

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They must have had some terrible days even in these relatively sheltered waters. I know I would be so seasick if I had to be out there.

But at the end of March I took some pictures of the same area and it was a very different story. It was early morning and the sun would be creeping over the horizon momentarily. Its warm glow already lit up the few stragglers of the clouds that had blown through overnight.

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It was still  early, but when I looked more closely, I saw a partial yellow globe.

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No, it’s not the sun. That’s the waning moon. The sun was rising far to the east of it, shining on the clouds around the moon. In the stillness of the dawn the sun sent poetry rays to me:

“Oh Moon, I guess you think you’re cool

To sashay round that cloud,

But keep on moving, you old fool,

While I shine warm and proud.”

The next day, also early in the morning (I’m out there because that’s when the dogs have to go out), the sun was rolling up its sleeves, ready to get to work and warm this corner of the earth. I welcomed it and told it to stay as long as it wanted.

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In these last days of the month, March truly went out “like a lamb.”