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Adirondack Lifestyle ™: Dec 30, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon Opportunity

When I was a child, I thought the expression “once in a blue moon” referred to an occurrence so odd that it happened as frequently as one could see a blue moon, which of course, was not very often since I had never seen one. Like most people, I drew this conclusion based on the context of the conversation as in, “It takes a long time for the ocean to warm up, but once in a blue moon, you can go swimming in May.” In other words, “`could happen.”
I still have not seen an actual blue moon and had until recently given up the idea that such a thing exists. But I am here to tell you the moon has indeed been known to appear visibly blue. The literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which as we know, is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere. The most documented case of the moon appearing blue is after eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years. Very cool. The eruption of Krakatoa is also responsible for one of my favorite paintings, Munch’s Skrik or The Scream. Very, very cool. I love coincidences like this, since they only happen once in a blue moon!!
As you may know by now, this week’s full moon is a blue moon. This simply means this full moon is the second full moon in December, our artificially assigned calendar month. Coincidentally, it occurs on New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year; another artificial unit of time created by humans. Many people believe this is an especially auspicious time to initiate an attempt to achieve a dream or goal that seems impossible. To take full advantage of the effect, you are supposed to spend time outside in the blue moonlight tomorrow night. I like to think this is true, but the cynical side of Pollyanna thinks we humans create many of these “coincidences” ourselves. However, this full moon is also a lunar eclipse; not a human created occurrence. A blue moon on New Year’s Eve during a lunar eclipse will start a new decade for humanity. Why not go with this is an auspicious time? This sounds like an excellent time for a moonlight ski in the Adirondacks.
Photo credit: View from home - December 30, 2009 – Brianna Sandone.