THE WANING MOON PASSES VENUS OVER TAMPA BAY
The picture above doesn’t capture the optical illusion that we humans witnessed early this past Wednesday morning. The Moon and Venus appeared to be at least 10 times larger than they really were and Venus was so bright it had pointy spokes like a child’s drawing of a Christmas tree star.
Sky and Telescope: [Wednesday, April 22] “Early in Wednesday’s morning twilight, look low in the east for Venus close by the waning crescent Moon, as shown at right [click here for Sky and Telescope illustration]. Then, the Moon occults (covers) Venus in twilight…”
I think in our location here in the east, the occlusion wasn’t complete, but Venus and the Moon were definitely in close, picturesque proximity.
BAYSHORE BOULEVARD ALONG HILLSBOROUGH BAY
I just happened to be over on the Tampa side of Tampa Bay on Bayshore Boulevard when I saw the spectacle above. Bayshore is a 4.5 mile long continuous sidewalk—the world’s longest. This 10-foot wide sidewalk is actually a “linear park,” Bayshore Boulevard Linear Park. It is one of Tampa’s most famous landmarks and deservedly so. I remember it well from our family’s Florida visits when I was a child. Then, as now, what fascinated me where the entryways right down to the water from the sidewalk via short flights of steps. I remember fishing off those steps as a kid just as fishermen do today.
You can see what an attraction this uninterrupted pathway has for bicyclists, runners, skaters, and walkers. One end terminates at a short footbridge to downtown Tampa. The other ends almost at Ballast Point Pier. Ballast Point used to be called Jules Verne Park (see plaque inscription) because Tampa (or “Tampa town” as he called it) was the location Verne chose for the launching of the rocket to the moon in his prophetic 1865 novel, From the Earth to the Moon.
View Larger Map of Bayshore Blvd.
While I was in the neighborhood, I took the opportunity to have a wee-hours breakfast at one of my favorite haunts from my days living in Tampa, Pach’s Place (2909 W. Bay To Bay Blvd. #101, Tampa, FL 33629; 813-831-7122). There for more than 20 years, Pach’s is a favorite morning refuge of many locals, most of whom the waitresses greet by name. There must be countless such places across the planet, their glowing, misted windows promising welcome. Wouldn’t it be fun to travel across country, photographing and chronicling them all?
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