Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar eclipse

The prospect of seeing the moon blood-red was to my mind worth the effort of setting the alarm for 3.15am. To say that I leapt out of bed would be an exaggeration but mind eventually won over matter and I drew back the curtains and peered up into the sky to see the moon, not its usual brilliant shining self, but a dull, glowing sphere. To my great disappointment there was not a touch of haemoglobin about it.
I had a very different experience once on holiday in Mexico. I was travelling around part of the country, enjoying a mix of Mayan remains and beaches and the pyramid at Chichen Itza was going to be one of the highlights of the trip. When I arrived there, there must have been a thousand people. Golly, this is a popular site, I thought. On closer inspection, there were hundreds of hippies with flowing hair and beards, wearing long florrid robes. They told me that it was the spring equinox and that this was the day to visit the pyramid. All became clear later that afternoon. The sun was going down and at one particular point its rays hit the top of the pyramid, went through a structure which the Mayans had built on the top and the light came down the other side of the pyramid, in a zigzag, slowly descending from side to side, like a snake, until it reached the bottom. The Mayans were accomplished astronomers and on the equinox the priest used to dress up as their great god, the plumed serpent Quetzalcoatl, the people used to gather around and he would invoke the god just before the sun got to the necessary point for the light to do its tricks. That really was amazing.

8 Comments:

Blogger Eurodog said...

What an experience! That must have given you the ebeegeebees.

8:54 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

Ah, sort of Quatermain's trick.... I've always wanted to do that.

11:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. I'm glad I'm not snuggled under the duvet with you doubleyouwubbliw .. I think the appearance of a red moon is an amazing feat of nature, but then a very good night of sleep is truly a miracle of nature..

In my younger days I couldn't possibly understand why anyone would choose a night of sleep over a night of shagging, but as one gets older the realisation hits one that the latter is easier to live without for a few days than the former...

2:18 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Too bad... I'm sure the hippies would relish the prospect of "shagging" under the rare rosy fingers of the moon

3:42 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Well, I admire you for rising at that hour! Your description of the sunset in Mexico is fantastic - I feel as if I were there!

12:41 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

What a wonderful experience, Mexico, that is. I couldn't face an early morning call for the eclipse, especially for a disapponitment.

10:11 pm  
Blogger Mountaingirl said...

I didn't hear about the eclipse until the day afterwards (doh) but as it wasn't red maybe staying asleep wasn't such a bad thing.

I love the Mexico experience - that will definitely have to go on my list of things to do before I die lol. Incredible :-)

12:42 am  
Blogger merry weather said...

Having missed it, relieved to hear it was only dull and glowing!

8:14 pm  

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