It was 19 degrees Saturday morning when daybreak dissolved a setting total lunar eclipse. The full moon, sitting on the western horizon where low-level dust colored the moon a deep orange, was chewed away as the earth’s shadow crept across it. Unfortunately, daybreak spun the sight away before totality. Even so, it was a spectacular view.
I turned my attention to the icy pond I visited, looking back toward the sun where mallards and pintails kept open a small pool of water. The ducks dipped again and again in the relatively warm water, rearing and fanning their wings to dry off and avoid icing. It was a bonanza of film that made it worth getting out. There’s always something in the Kansas outdoors to reward an outing. And this time, the rare lunar eclipse was a special addition.
The next total lunar eclipse won’t be until April of 2014. Then of course, the sky must be clear to see it. Conditions must be just right to view these infrequent sky events. When they come along, it’s worth getting up to see them.