Late last week I was admiring the waxing fruit moon after it had risen above the treeline and had begun to cast a ghostly reflection upon the lake's choppy waters. It occurred to me what a great thing it would be to stay up late enough to watch it set on the distant horizon, but was unsure when to do it.
The internet being extremely handy in these matters, I checked the U.S. Naval Observatory's website, and discovered that the moon would be very close to full today, and would be setting this morning just as dawn's twilight would be breaking. The forecast called for clear skies making this an ideal opportunity to witness a moonset.
Thrilled, I sent messages to friends and acquaintances in the area suggesting when and where to be with hopes that some might join me in the experience. Sure enough, when I arrived at the shore in the pre-dawn gloom, there was a small tribe of romantic-hearted sky watchers, wrapped in beach blankets and armed with cameras waiting sleepy-eyed and hushed to spy the moon put her self to sleep for the day.
It was low on the horizon with a hue that resembled a ripe August peach. Its face -- the "man on the moon" -- was turned on its side so that it mocked a human head about to rest on a pillow. As it made contact with the watery horizon, it smooshed out like molten glass spilling on a cold slab. Quite different than a sunset, there was no glare and little reflection. In mere moments, it was gone. The silent yawning onlookers picked themselves up off the sand, and together we made plans on where to meet for breakfast.