Last night several of the usual suspects and a couple new ones did the 2nd Annual Hunters Moon paddle on White Bear Lake. It was a perfect crisp fall night in Minnesota and promised both an excellent sunset and moon rise. We were not disappointed. The Voice of Reason and I were a bit late and met up with an old classmate of the VOR's at the launch, who joined the regular crew for the evening. Upon paddling out to the usual middle of the lake viewing spot I was a bit surprised that no wine bottles had been pulled out of any day hatches per standard operating procedure. After savaging me for being late, the whining nd excuses began about cold fingers, too cold to stop paddling and drink wine, etc, etc. We did stop briefly and were rewarded by the sunset / moonrise in the photos. We retired to the B.Dahlie estate, in Mahtomedi of course, where the missing wine (and beer) was discovered along with a number of wild game hors de ouvres, spicy squash soup, and a couple of classic fall pies, pumpkin and apple. It was an excellent fall paddle with the weather, culinary, and cameraderie elements combining to make the perfect evening.
The actual full moon is this evening and will be the largest full moon of 2007. Here are some moon facts courtesy of the above mentioned VOR classmate (no blog name....yet) :
Tonight, those blessed with clear skies can enjoy a glorious Full Moon, (exact full phase at 0452 UT, October 26). In fact, the Moon will reach its full phase within a few hours of perigee, the closest point in its elliptical orbit, making it the largest Full Moon of 2007. On April 3, the Full Moon was within hours of apogee, the farthest point in the lunar orbit, corresponding to the smallest Full Moon of 2007. The difference in apparent size between the largest and smallest Full Moon is quite dramatic. But seen in the sky many months apart, the change is difficult to notice. Skygazers should also enjoy the Moon on Saturday, October 27, as it encounters the lovelyPleiades star cluster. Because the Moon will be so bright, it will be easiest to spot the Pleiades stars near the Moon with binoculars or a small telescope.
(Sorry, none of these links are 'hot')