Once upon a blue moon

August has been ruled by the sturgeon moon.  That little sketch from August 2 grabbed hold and so, along with the coming blue moon, the fish also rises.

Lately, evenings here unfold beneath a luminous glow.  Last week a quick step outside found me under a mesmerizing half moon, barely obsured behind a gauzy atmospheric curtain and hanging just so in a break of the tree canopy right next door. A perfect moon in a perfect sky on a perfect evening.  The light spills in with the night breeze these late hours after the house has settled.  The yard is appropriately alive with a chirping chorus of night creatures, along with an occasional yowl… of what I
am not quite sure.  The week passes and each night the moon grows.

A blue moon occurs only once every 2.72 years, inspiring our stories & melodies, romantic notions and stargazing inclinations.  This one will be the full corn moon,
but there is so much more to it than that.  You will find a rich and comprehensive history of blue moon-ology over at space.com.  Pretty fascinating stuff to this
amateur observer.

But back to my fish.  Such endeavors typically take months or even years to become realized around here.  But this beguiling ancient mariner bit hard and held on tight until every fin and spine was in it’s proper place.  All the while, I cannot escape the thought of another time, another fish, and I realize that there is likely a reason I am so besotted of my new friend.  I journey back, to the earlier years of my adventures in metal… my dad had passed away and we struggled to keep anything at all in the case at his tiny studio while we endeavored to find our way.  In walks a young bride-to-be, sent over by someone well acquainted with my dad’s abilities.  “I am looking for a coelacanth for my wedding, could you possibly help?”  The coelacanth (SEEL-uh-kanth), an extremely rare prehistoric fish, had recently been spotted and I was following the news of this fish, at times throughout natural history considered certain to be extinct.  I so wished I could make that fish for these promising naturalists.  I could see the excitement and hope in this young woman’s face that I even knew what the coelacanth was.  But in those years, I was floundering (pun intended).  My dad could have made that fish and I knew it.  I could visualize it, I could design it.  But no way, no how, could I make that fish.

The years passed.  I never quite forgot.  I hope that bride found her perfect fish, and is happily married several years now, and that they read about fish or perhaps even research and study them.  And when a month ago I began to read about the sturgeon, another “living fossil”, I knew that now I could make this fish.  And so I did.

Friday night, under a blue moon, a coelacanth slips silently back through history off the coast of South Africa to a deep dark home at the bottom of the sea, safely away from us and oblivious to his special status.  A sturgeon goes about his business here in the waters of New Jersey’s Atlantic coast unaware of the scientists researching the distribution, habitat use, and population size of his species.  And yet somehow I suspect that these fish will know that the moon so high above them is full.

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2 Comments to Once upon a blue moon

  1. mom's Gravatar mom
    August 29, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I remember that time in the shop. I guess your memory is not so bad after all. The fish look wonderful.