The night of the red moon.

Ah the night of the red moon. Did you see it?

They told us it would a very rare, spectacular occurence. I thought I’d better make an effort to see it as I’m not getting any younger. Only the other day I’d a headache, and yesterday I sat for so long I had a sore back, surely both serious signs my time is running out.

So I googled and facebooked ‘red moon’. By the time my children were going to bed I was a self-declared expert.

However in reality my googling might have been a little distracted by the incredibly exciting episode of ‘Downton Abby’ I was watching on TV. I may have approached my red moon research similar to the way I used to study all those years ago, by skimming, speed reading and imagining I knew it all.

My youngest was the only child who was enthused by my wonder at this amazing moment in time. We agreed we would meet at 1.10am in the kitchen. I suppose in hindsight I should have gone to bed early, but I forgot, and found myself crawling into bed at 12.45am.

Minutes later (literally) the alarm went off. My OH didn’t stir, and for a moment I felt sorry for him. I mean he’s older than I am, surely he’d never get to see a red moon in the short time left in his photo credit: <a href=life? I stumbled out of bed and as arranged met my youngest in the kitchen.

To be fair the moon was magnificent. It was enormous, brightly shining in a clear sky, lighting up the house and back garden as if it were a spotlight on a sports pitch. Yes it was spectacular, but something was not quite right. The more I stared at it the more I knew without doubt, this moon was white not red.

Turning to my sleep deprived daughter I asked her could she see any red at all. She took a moment to study it, and even opened the back door to see it ‘up close’ before coming in shaking her heard, ‘Nope, it’s definitely not red’ she agreed.

Unwilling to admit I may not have researched this properly, I began to surreptitiously google ‘what time will the feckin moon turn red?’ Sick I discovered it would be sometime between 3.30 and 4.15 am. I blamed google and advised my little one that I would set my alarm for 3.30 and if it was red I’d wake her. Not convinced, she continued to watch the moon do nothing at all for another fifteen minutes, before bowing out.

3.30 came and a divil for punishment I got my ass out of bed once more, reminding myself I’d be a long time dead. I stumbled downstairs and made my way to the back door, excited to see the amazing red moon. I burst out onto the patio and looked up to see…

Nothing! Absolutely feckin nothing! As I scanned the skies I noted the beautiful bright moon of

photo credit: <a href=
Nothing to see here!

earlier was no more. In its place was a partially visible moon half black, half white and very definitely not red. Shaking my head, filled with confusion and disappointment, I wearily made my way back to bed, more than a little envious of yer man, still sleeping peacefully.

The following morning I got up for the third time, a little light-headed and sleep deprived. My daughter was not impressed wondering why I didn’t wake her.

‘Have you ever stood in a room, in the dark of night and turned off the light?’ I asked her.
‘Yes’ she replied.
‘Well sweetheart, that would mean you have already seen a red moon’.

When ‘yer man’ asked us what it was like, I could see the delight in his well rested face, as he acknowledged he’d dodged a bullet.

I was just about getting over my disappointment when my youngest appeared with her phone in hand and a face that didn’t say ‘I love you’.

‘Mum, admit it, you slept through’ she said thrusting her phone at me.

I looked and there was within her phone much photographic evidence of a large, round red moon.

‘That’s been photoshopped’ I said defensively, ‘don’t believe the internet. Anyway maybe that’s in America?’.

‘Mum, it was taken in Cork city’.

So it looks like I’m the only person who got up twice in one night and still managed to miss the main event. Now I’ll have to look after myself, drink less and take vitamin tablets daily, in order to ensure I get another chance someday in the future, to wake up in the dead of night to witness this rare event.

Or else I might follow himself’s example, sleep peacefully, barely glance at photos, and briefly mutter, ‘Lovely’.

photo credit: Eclissi totale di Luna via photopin (license)
photo credit: Sliver via photopin (license)

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25 thoughts on “The night of the red moon.

  1. We had dinner. We picked a restaurant while the moon was rising. Then, when the eclipse began, our dinner was served. When the eclipse was over, we got in the car. Then we drove up the mountain just a few minutes (less than 5) and there it was…a red moon. It wasn’t huge because by now it was way past mooon rise when it was supposed to look huge. It was definitely red, though.

    Of course, if it had been up to me, I would have camped out at the top of the mountain and waited so I could see it rise and watch each phase of the eclipse. But it wasn’t up to me. See what we give up for the sake of family?

  2. We were lucky because the eclipse was total here at a few minutes after 10, so we didn’t have to get up at bizarre hours. We were also lucky because we got a break in the clouds to see it. But there will be plenty more lunar eclipses to see before the 18 years they keep talking about to get the exact conditions of this one again.

    1. You are right Joanne. I’m fairly sure there will be many more chances just not as hyped as this one. Only a few years ago I saw a magnificent orange moon and never heard anyone speaking about it.

  3. 🙂 Sorry for your restless night Tric. I was telling myself I really should set the alarm to get up but the idea of getting out of bed for 3.30am and seeing nothing would be too much for me to cope with. I’m a total crank without a full nights sleep. I’m kind of happy that I didn’t miss anything.

  4. Too funny, but actually when we stepped out before we went to bed, we did see red in the moon. It was pretty cool and I only wish my cell photos turned out better. However, those internet pics were precise, so maybe they were edited just a little. 🙂

  5. I saw it !

    I saw it !

    I awake around 3 am each morning and take the dogs round the park – so no need for me to rise early for the occasion

    it was a cloudless night here in Brum and the moon was magnificent – so close, so big, so bright, so . . . well, not red, exactly, but definitely a pinkish hue !

    it was eerily beautiful, nevertheless, and I was so glad I saw it

    [the dogs, on the other hand, gave no visible sign of sharing my sense of wonder !]

  6. Lol. I didn’t get a chance to see it here in America, as in southeast Wisconsin, the sky was overcast, and I live on the fringes of a city, unable to see much in the sky anyway. I would have liked to have seen it, as 30-some years from now, I definitely won’t be here to see it.

    1. I’ll not be clinging to life in the hope of seeing one I can tell you for sure. Yes I still wish I’d seen it, but I’m over it now, almost. 🙂

  7. You are so lucky! Literally millions of people woke up and saw the Blood Moon, and literally millions slept right through the whole thing, but how many got up twice and still missed it? You’re in an exclusive club indeed! That’ll be something to enthrall the grandchildren.

    1. Yes their grandmother is a very special person alright. I can always take a photo of a black sky and tell them amazing stories about the night the red moon went missing.

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