This time of year, with short days and long nights, I often find myself feeding the ponies twice after dark. The first is before dinner, where I start chores before dark but finish them after. And the second is right before bed. Since the dark of the moon coincided with the shortest days this year, I’ve found myself missing the moon. When it shines, it provides valuable illumination for my walks between the paddocks.
As the moon waxed early in the month, I appreciated not only the moonlight but also the reflected light off the snow. I have always found moonlight on snow a bit magical. When the moon was shining, I could see the ponies easily for my nightly census, checking that all were interested in hay. And I could track the progress of my dog from one paddock to the next. Each night I noticed the moon come up later than the night before until it no longer was up when I did my last feeding. Then one morning I was up early and got to see the moon setting, and what a sight it was. It happened to be the morning of the eclipse. It was a great surprise since we hadn’t heard about it in advance.
Tonight the newly waxing moon was just starting to provide some light. And it had some brilliant company. Venus and the crescent moon were close in the sky; I heard on the radio earlier today that this event is called a convergence. It was beautiful, especially because it was low in the sky, so some silhouettes of trees were in the foreground. I guess I’ll forgive the moon for having a dark phase; it’s hard to beat an eclipse on one end and a convergence on the other!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011