Saturday, December 7, 2013

SC Flag in the CA Sky

After living 16 years (altogether) of my life in South Carolina, I was somewhat surprised Thursday night to be standing in my driveway here in California, and seeing the flag of South Carolina in the sky over my yard.  I took a picture of it:
Crescent moon, over a palm tree...  granted it is not a "palmetto tree", and the massive palm in my front yard would dwarf most South Carolina palms by any measure - there's a ripened palm cluster hanging from the top of the tree that is the size of a beer keg, and probably weighs a good 50 lbs.

But there it was, hanging in the sky, ironically for this native Hoosier.  The moon's crescent was even oriented in the right direction and positioned according to the "first to secede" state's standard.  I walked to my backyard and took another look, moon and palm juxtaposed (both front and back corners of my yard came with 25+ year old palm trees when we bought the place), and there is was, unmistakably.

As I finished my wine glass at sunset Thursday night, the amusing thought occurred to me that not only does the California sky resemble the South Carolina flag, but many Muslim nations and movements have 'star & crescent' symbology on their standards as well.  Initially I was thinking of Turkey, but wikipedia showed me that the separatist Uyghur movement has a more fitting flag.

Substitute the planet Venus for the "star", and leap forward (or backward) 3 weeks to go from the waxing to the waning crescents, and the orientation matches.

This month is the last chance we on Earth have of seeing Venus and the moon together, since by January Venus will have sunk down over the horizon and be occluded by the Sun's glare, no longer visible to human eyes (without telescopes and heavy duty shielding to reduce the Sun's fierce broadcast of spectral energy.  [Oh, those silly Scientists with their ability to predict and estimate, based upon gathered data & scientific observations...  shouldn't they just read the Bible (or Quran) instead!?!]
Getting that massive palm kernel cluster (2' x 4') down without having ti come crashing and shattering all over my ladder and front yard is going to be a significantly difficult task... perhaps best left to a professional tree trimmer.

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