The night of January 31 was anticipated by novice and professional sky-watchers alike. The moon was about to put on a display that had not been witnessed in New Zealand for over 150 years. A rare event where a blue moon had synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse.

Determined not to miss out on seeing such a rare phenomenon DH and I set our alarm to get up to view the moon at the optimal times: 2:00 through to 2:30 am Despite the early hour, we were undeterred. This was a once in a lifetime event and not to be missed (even if some of us did grumble a little about the unsocial hour).

The alarm went all too soon. Still half asleep I wandered outside to be greeted by less than one eighth of moon that boasted a slightly pinkish glow. Disappointed - but knowing we still had until 2:30 am for the ultimate reveal - I went inside for a few minutes. On my return, the moon had totally disappeared and all we saw for the next half hour was cloud.


How could there be cloud on such an important night? And why here, of all places, when we had been experiencing summer heat formerly unknown in this part of the world? Why would it choose this night of all nights to be cloudy?

Resigned, we returned to bed. Next morning there was a brilliant new moon hanging over the neighbour's garage. Small compensation for a broken night's sleep and disappointment.

I felt somewhat cheated. Not only were we not granted a reasonable time of night at which to see the sight at its best but it didn't even make a decent show!

Apparently those in such exotic places as Beijing, Australia, Canada, and even America, had a wonderful view of the super blue blood moon. But for us, the mysteries of the heavens remained just that - a mystery.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4, NIV