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Did you see the big orange moon?

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POSTED: March 28, 2011 1:21 p.m.

Earlier in the week, the moon was supposed to be closer to earth than it has been in many years – just how much closer, I didn’t research. And, of course, it was supposed to look much bigger than usual.
Indeed it was a pretty moon. I couldn’t really tell if it looked any bigger than any other time I’ve looked at a full moon. The promotions for this lunar event made it sound like you could stand on the back porch and hit it with a sling shot.
Every time I look at a full moon, I think of that verse from that old Dean Martin tune from my childhood, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ....”
I also think about those few people who say man has never been to the moon – that it was all a hoax contrived in the deserts of Arizona. And I recall an old timer of my childhood who said – upon President John Kennedy’s initiative to put a man on the moon – that it would turn to blood if man ever touched it.
He based this on some Biblical connotation. 
The heavens are indeed fascinating. And as much as we have learned about the universe, my guess is, we’ve only scratched the surface. I can’t even relate to the term “light years,” except to express when I expect term limits to be imposed on Congress. As an alternate, I use the expression “when pigs fly.” Or maybe in the context of what I’m writing, “when a cow jumps over the moon.”
My son has a device that when attached to his laptop computer and pointed into the night sky will tell you the name of the stars, planets, galaxies, etc. You can point it at the moon and it will tell you what phase it’s in. And if you want to find Orion’s belt buckle, just point it in the general direction. If you want to find the buckle of the Bible belt, just suggest that the earth is millions and millions of years old as opposed to 5,000.
I’ve always been a little curious about those “connect-the-dots” pictures that someone a long time ago came up with relative to the stars. One night I tried to find some of them. I thought I found Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. I think they are supposed to be bears. I think you have to have a lot of imagination to get these pictures.
So I connected some stars and one set looked like an Evinrude outboard motor. I also saw what could have been a pair of hedge trimmers.
There’s a lot of science and a lot of folklore tied to stories about the moon. I had a neighbor who thought if a full moon shone on newly dug sweet potatoes that they would rot. People have talked about planting crops and going fishing on certain phases of the moon.
It’s not unusual that the night’s brightest light would have lots of stories told about it. And that it would be the topic of much conversation through the centuries among some of the most brilliant minds as well as the Flat Earth Society.
For the record, I can say that I looked at the moon and enjoyed its big orange glow on the night that it was supposed to be the biggest and closest to the earth in “many moons.”
Still, I can’t say that I was anymore impressed than on that night when Mickey Green and I were fishing in its glow in Will Ezell’s pond and an owl swooped down and took off with Mickey’s fish lure.
It was a really strange site to look over at Mickey who was looking up at that big orange ball as the line zinged off his reel. At that moment we had no idea what was happening. We were pretty sure he had not snagged the moon but since neither one of us had ever caught an owl on a fishing lure, snagging something just this side of the moon was not being ruled out.

Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer and can be reached at dwain.walden@gaflnews.com.

 

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