Once in a Red Moon

Do you know the moon names? A blue moon is when there are two full moons in the same calendar month. The second one takes the name –  Blue Moon. But it’s just a name – the moon doesn’t actually turn blue.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon in the month of September. The closest full moon to the autumnal equinox, it is different than others because it rises the earliest in the evening, and hangs low to the horizon appearing brighter and bigger. It’s my favorite full moon of them all!

But a Blood Moon? Yesterday was the first time I’d heard the term.  A lunar eclipse was to take place in the early morning hours – it would be visible from my home in Kansas. The totally eclipsed moon would appear blood red – so they said. This I had to see! In my time zone the full lunar eclipse would begin at 12:55 am. I set my alarm. But somewhere between going to sleep and the alarm ringing I came to my senses. Really? Did I want to get out of my warm bed in the middle of the night and go outside in the frigid air just so I could say I had seen the Blood Moon? No. Resetting my alarm clock for my normal morning rising, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Until, 1:45 am, CST when I found myself awakened.

The dogs were in the yard barking. So were the neighbor’s dogs. What the heck, I was already awake and the lunar eclipse was occurring right outside my front door. The dogs apparently thought it was worth it, so I figured I might as well have a look.

I pulled on my winter coat over my nightgown and slipped my feet into snow boots that were left by the front door. The door creaked closed as I slipped out onto the porch. The air was calm and not as cold as I expected. Looking through the bare branches of the elm tree I saw it – there, in the southern sky, a full lunar eclipse was taking place right before my eyes. A sliver of golden moon shone through on the edge telling me the eclipse was not quite complete. But was the moon blood red? Not really. But it wasn’t it’s usual light yellow either. It was more of a peachy tan color. Satisfied to have seen it, I smiled up at the moon then climbed up the two steps to my porch and went into the house. Attempting to be quiet, I crept back to bed, trying not to wake Dale.

Settling on my pillow I thought about the Blood Moon and couldn’t fall asleep. The red color apparently comes from reflected sunsets around the world. I wondered who else was watching besides me and all the dogs on our street. An hour later, still awake, I couldn’t resist going back out. I wanted to see it again. Maybe the eclipse had to be complete before the moon turned red.

This time my rustling awakened Dale so I said,”I’m going back out to see the eclipse, do you want to come?”He grabbed a sweatshirt and followed.

I pointed through the trees to the place I had seen the lunar eclipse an hour before. It wasn’t there. In the dark of the night with my nightgown brushing my bare legs, I walked out to the driveway, searching for the moon. Suddenly, the clouds drifted revealing the moon in full lunar eclipse. We stood in awe and agreed that although it was not blood red, it’s peachy tan color was certainly unusual.

There will be three more lunar eclipses this year – will they pull me from my slumber too? Hmmm, Twice in a Red Moon? I could do that!