Blue Super Moon with Blood Red Lunar Eclipse: I thought about sleeping in. I was pretty sure I would have to go elsewhere to see this one. I had really enjoyed the September 30, 2015 Blood Red Lunar Eclipse. That took place on a beautiful autumn evening, at a reasonable hour. This is winter, and the eclipse was during sleeping hours! Not intentionally, I woke up at 3:30 am. “OK, why not go see where this moon is now?” It was actually in a reasonable spot for me to see and photograph it from the beginning of the eclipse until its height. I would not be able to see it set, but in the end, that was OK. Once dawn arrived, the moon faded in the light, even though it was still red. You just couldn’t see the red in the light of day. It worked for me. 🙂
The first image in this gif was photographed at 4:02am MST. The last image in this gif was photographed at 6:25am.
The weather was remarkably good for the last day of January. Climate change has blessed New Mexico with an extremely mild winter (with a resulting curse of return of drought and greater risk of wildfires, etc.). The temperature was right around 32 degrees F throughout. Early on there was a light breeze, but no breeze at all toward the end.
I know how fortunate I am to have witnessed a blood red lunar eclipse twice in less than two and a half years (along with some other remarkable celestial events).
Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share this with you.
Smoke from a distant fire, in this case, multiple fires in the west, has made its way into New Mexico and Albuquerque. The sky has been hazy for several days. My eyes have burned a bit. I knew the smoke was here, but had not paid too much attention. Until last evening, that is. When I went out to change the water in the hummingbird feeders, I caught a glimpse of the moon rising over the Sandias. The moon seemed huge, but rather than the bright silver I’m used to seeing, it was a muddy red. By the time I got my camera, the moon was already up, but the same color. When I plan to photograph the moon, I generally use a tripod. This wasn’t planned and I didn’t have time. Such is life.
From 7:30pm MDT:
With thoughts for all the people affected by the fires burning in the west, the firefighters, other emergency responders, as well as those affected by Harvey and those facing the threat of Irma.
This old song always comes to mind when fires are burning and smoke is in the air:
The bosque along the Rio Grande is a beautiful, fascinating place. A bosque is a forest found in a narrow band along the floodplains of rivers and streams in the American Southwest. It is a prime feature running through the Greater Albuquerque metro area.
This past Sunday, when I noticed the Painted Lady swarm here, Tim and Laurie noted they had hundreds on the salvia at their property in Corrales. Of course I jumped at the chance when they invited me to come out the following day, Memorial Day, to photograph the swarming butterflies there. When it was time to leave my place in the NE Heights, I could see stormy weather in the direction of Corrales. But storms often blow through quickly here, and I wanted to go. I had no weather to speak of on the drive to Corrales, but as soon as I turned off Alameda onto Corrales Road, I could see the storm really had blown through there. Tree limbs, leaves, and puddles of water were everywhere!
However, the Painted Ladies were nowhere to be seen. They had sought shelter – somewhere – from the storm.
Over the years, I have learned that plans for photographic excursions often change in detail, but that there is always something interesting and/or beautiful to photograph. When the sky cleared a bit, Laurie went for a run in the bosque, and Tim and I walked down to the river. It was a beautiful afternoon and evening, sans butterflies!
Bosque del Apache 2014, flashback to a time when things seemed pretty perfect. I was updating software today, and came across images not seen for some time. I enjoyed looking at them, and decided to share a couple here.
The following morning at dawn was warm by January standards. The temperature was 19°F, no wind to speak of, and I was dressed in layers. I thought that was sufficient. My two companions that weekend went back to the car shortly after we arrived at this spot. I thought it was too beautiful to leave, and I am glad I have the images. Several hours later when I was warm enough to think sensibly again, I realized that I really had become hypothermic. The next time I plan to be out at dawn some winter day at the Bosque, I’ll have on about ten more layers!
These images reminded me not only of that weekend, but also how fortunate I am to live in “The Land of Enchantment.”
Full moon setting this morning was spectacular! Who knew about this one? I caught it only when I went out for the paper. It reminded me of some of the autumn moons. I guess that should not be surprising, since the location in the sky is about the same. This was a very pleasant surprise!
Here are some quotes about the moon:
“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.”
~ Ming-Dao Deng, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony
“But even when the moon looks like it’s waning…it’s actually never changing shape. Don’t ever forget that.”
~ Ai Yazawa, Nana, Vol. 14
“We must strive to be like the moon.’ An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often… the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behavior and to be good to others. [S]he said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon.”
~ Ishmael Beah
“I never really thought about how when I look at the moon, it’s the same moon as Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at.”
~ Susan Beth Pfeffer, Life As We Knew It
Waxing Supermoon, December 2016, Rising over Sandia Mountains at Sunset
The supermoon of December 2016 is not quite as impressive as November’s. However, it would take an expert in moons to really be able to tell that with the naked eye, at least in the waxing phase.
Full moon will take place on December 13. Here in Albuquerque, moonrise is set for 5:09pm. But, about another 30 minutes or so is required for the moon to clear the mountains. The sky will be dark for the full moonrise. Photographing moonrise in daylight is so much more fun. The alpenglow on the Sandia Mountains at sunset, combined with a very bright waxing moon, was too beautiful not to photograph and share.
I hope you can see the moon where you are in the next few days.
Super Moon with Blue and Golden Hours of dawn, November 15, 2016 was a beautiful start to the day.
I had not intended to photograph the Super Moon this morning (Tuesday) because I had an early morning appointment for which I had to get ready. But that did not stop me from going out to see how the moon looked today. It was beautiful, as it had been in previous days. I did not have time to set up the tripod and shoot a series, although it would have been nice. I grabbed my camera, took a deep breath, and said to myself, “you can hand hold this for a few images.”
This first image is from 6:39 am MST, during “Blue Hour.” It is never an actual hour in most places. It is the time when the sun is below the horizon, either before dawn or after sunset, when the indirect sunlight has a predominantly blue hue. You can clearly see that in this first image.
This second image was taken at 6:47 am MST, just 8 minutes later. This is transition from “Blue Hour” into “Golden Hour.”
I’ve always been a fan of “Golden Hour,” because it is such flattering light, not only to people but also to landscapes. The moon looks pretty good at Blue Hour. 🙂 I think in the coming year I’ll try to practice more Blue Hour photography, just for fun.
Super moon this November has been spectacular, even in the afternoon hours. Saturday I photographed the moonrise over the Sandias, partly because it was so beautiful, and partly because I wanted to prepare for photographing tonight (Sunday, November 13). I’m really glad I have the images from Saturday. You have seen the animated gif already, and this is a black and white of the moon on Saturday night.
Late Sunday afternoon I set up my tripod, and got the camera set in such a way that I would be able to make final adjustments quickly when the moon rose. From where I live in Albuquerque, moonrise is never at the time the Tables say, because the moon has to clear the Sandia Mountains and not the horizon before becoming visible. I knew a lot of light would not be left by the time the moon actually appeared, but I had hoped for some. However, I was more disappointed than surprised when it was dark.
I was even more surprised by where the moon finally appeared. I was expecting relatively close to where you see it in the image above. That is not where it rose!!! Rather, it rose to the left of that tree, in between the tree and a neighbor’s swamp cooler. This was a learning experience. I moved the tripod and adjusted the camera settings. Because I had so much fun making an animated gif yesterday, I took a series for another gif. Then I made images specifically for the close-to-full (99.6%) moon.
Because this moon was to be its largest near dawn of Monday, November 14, I got up to see what was visible. It was still dark. At 6:11 am MST I was able to get this clear shot. Note the slightly orange color as the moon is closer to the horizon.
I have been reminded with this moon how quickly the light changes at sunset and sunrise. I’ve known that, but was definitely reminded! The images in this gif were made between 6:19 and 6:26 am, MST. There was no way to avoid seeing the moon through neighborhood trees from my home. It was still fun to make a gif.
I hope you have enjoyed three days of the November 2016 Super Moon as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.
Prelude to a full super moon – what does that mean, anyway? Shortly after 6:00 am on November 14, the “largest” moon between now and 2034 will officially be “full.” The largest this moon will appear at moonrise will be tomorrow, November 13. Some of us who have photographed various moon phenomena find ourselves a little bored with just a bright full moon against a dark sky. Moonrise tommorrow will happen in light. It will be dusk, but not dark. For photographers, that presents an exciting challenge. Today I decided to practice with a series. All the camera settings are the same in this series. The images were photographed from 4:39 pm to 5:00 pm MST. Notice the changing light on the Sandia Mountains. A couple of frames have birds flying through; I left them. I hope you enjoy this “night before the night before the morning of…” in gif format. It loads slowly, and then repeats at normal speed.
You can use this link to find moonrise times for your location.