Time has been in very short supply in my life as of late.  Teaching has consumed almost all of it.  It has had me so tied up that I failed to post the new moon of last month and only realized it this evening when I began preparing the image taken earlier this evening.

Last month, however, the moon was not seen on the critical 29th day due to bad weather, but none the less, I did photograph it the following day.  So for those of you interested in it here is last month’s new moon taken on January 24, 2012 marking the beginning of Rabi Al-Awwal.

New Moon of Rabi Al-Awwal 1433

Rabi Al-Awwal 1433

Today was a hectic day but I did manage to secure the afternoon off and make it out to see and capture the new moon of Rabi Ath-Thani.  With my four assistants in tow, we made it to the top of the local mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean just after the sun dropped below the horizon.  The usual quiet was broken this time by the peals of laughter and tom-foolery of my assistants.  It was not long before we spotted it.  The particulars: initially seen at 6:13 pm PST with an altitude of 6 fingers above the horizon (approximately 9 degrees) and just over the sunset point or possibly just to the right of it (a rare occurance here in northern hemisphere for the moon to be to the right of the sun at sunset).  Its limbs were at 4 and 8 pm as best as we could tell with our naked eyes.

Within twenty minutes of the first sighting, this is what we were fortunate enough to witness.

New Moon of Rabi Ath-Thani, 1433

Rabi Ath-Thani, 1433

I would have had this photo up here on the journal much sooner, however about four hours after being up on the hills my oldest son, one of my four assistants, notices a bump on his right arm and goes to inspect it by lifting his sleeve.  To his surprise and all of ours as well, we discover a tick has sunk it ugly head into his arm and is feasting.  An adult female deer tick was the specimen as best as I can tell.  It was not engorged at all, as far as I can tell.  We pulled out our tick removal tools from our first aid kit and began working.  Those buggers really hold on tight.  It took a couple of minutes, but we finally got it to let go, only leaving a small mouth part still in the skin.  A few more minutes of work and we think we got all of it out.  However, this is nothing to take lightly and tomorrow we do plan on a visit to the doctor to make sure everything is ok.

As I worked, a sense of urgency came over me.  Time was of the essence in removing the tick.  The fear of infection with a myriad of illnesses, the least of which Lyme Disease, made it imperative that it be removed quickly and cleanly as soon as possible to avoid any infection.  We kept the bugger in a moist paper towel in case a test needs to be made on the tick to determine if it indeed is a vector for any disease.

Be vigilantly aware regarding the safety of what you love.  It does not take much, physically or with respect to time for your beloved to be taken away due to oversight or neglect.  While we live on a perfectly peaceful planet, there are elements that can bring great hardship and in some cases in very small packages.  Take care and make sure to stay safe while wandering.

Peace to you All.

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