Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Moon, Six Red-Tailed Hawks, and My Mother's Pictures

On Friday evening, I drove to New Jersey to spend time with my family before I leave.  As I was driving, I was amazed by the size and brightness of the full moon.  I talked to Dave on the phone for a while as I was driving, and it was nice to think that we both sleep under the same celestial bodies, even if we're on opposite sides of Earth.

Photo credit:  Mummers!

I found out later that the full moon on January 29 appeared 30% brighter and 14% larger than any other full moon will appear for the rest of 2010.  This is because the moon was at "perigee," or the closest point to the Earth in its orbit.  January 2010 was special because the moon was both full and at perigee, making it particularly bright and large.  To top it off, Mars was clearly visible and close to the moon.  My mother took that beautiful picture of the moonlight shining through the trees.

On the drive home on Tuesday, I saw six red-tailed hawk (four perched in trees, two in flight).  I wasn't looking for them at first, but after the first two I started paying more attention.  One of them had the most fabulous rust-colored tail I've ever seen; it was striking against the white, overcast sky.

Photo credit:  Mummers!

This is a photograph by my mother of the hawk that lives in their neighborhood.  She no longer lets her cat go outside (a large hawk could likely pick off a house cat, especially one that is old and slow like my mother's).

I've been waiting for an excuse to post some of my mother's photos.  This weekend gave me two!  Thanks for sharing, Mummers!

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