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Moon and clouds and illusions

Eclipse. A composite.
Eclipse. A composite.

The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion, but a very persistent one.

~ Albert Einstein

In the beginning, there were clouds.
In the beginning, there were clouds.

Did you get to see the Supermoon Harvest Blood Moon last night?  That’s a big name, and I may have mixed things up a little in there.  Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of my science heroes, said “The supermoon is a 16-inch pizza compared with a 15-inch pizza.  It’s a slightly bigger moon; I ain’t using the adjective ‘supermoon.'”  Smart fellow.  I never understood all the hyperbole surrounding a supermoon since I have never noticed much of a difference.  The difference in how the full moon appears to me has more to do with where I’m standing than whether it’s a full moon in perigee (closer to earth) or in apogee (farther away) or somewhere in between.

Sometimes the moon was allowed to peer out at us.
Sometimes the moon was allowed to peer out at us.

For instance, here at the ranch we cannot see the moon until it comes up over the trees that make up the woods across the road.  A lower horizon, such as at the beach, makes the moon appear larger to me when it first rises into sight than when it’s on the tree horizon.  The moon seems to shrink as it rises in the sky.  I’ve heard, but haven’t witnessed it, that the full moon also appears larger in a city with a lot of skyscrapers.  It’s an illusion.  Even so, it still feels like magic, don’t you think?

The moon was shy.
The moon was shy.

The weather system that has been bringing us warm, humid, tropical air, along with gusty winds and higher than usual tides, continues to spin around off the coast of the Carolinas.  As a result, we have often been under heavy cloud cover during the past week, but every now and then, it clears out.  We were lucky last night.  The clouds moved in and out providing us with clear glimpses of the moon every now and then, and we were able to watch most of the first half of the eclipse (to totality).  The moon was quite a distance above the treeline before it cleared the clouds on the horizon, and throughout the evening thin clouds would move across the face of the moon, not quite obscuring our view (but making some of my photographs appear soft and blurry).

A nice clear view.
A nice clear view.

I think I enjoyed the interaction between the moon and clouds almost as much as the eclipse.  Maybe more so since it appeared to be a dance of some kind.  What I found particularly interesting is the way the dark and light beams contrast each other.  During the day when sunbeams shoot out from behind a cloud, you see mostly light.  When the moon was behind the clouds, there were dark and light “beams” spreading out from the cloud.  (You can see what I mean in the photo labelled “In the beginning, there were clouds.”)  It’s the light against the dark sky, of course, causing that illusion of dark beams.

An illusion of light.
An illusion of light this afternoon.

I enjoy watching the moon in all of her phases, but there is something special about a full moon, a Harvest Moon, and an eclipse all coming together at the same time.  I am so glad the timing was early, too.  I didn’t have to get up in the wee hours of the morning or the middle of the night to see it.

Earth's shadow approaches the moon.
Earth’s shadow approaches the moon.

I like to watch the moon set, too, and thought about running out to the dock early this morning to see it, but laziness and fear of the swarms of mosquitoes in the woods sent me back to bed for a little extra sleep instead.  Over the weekend I used a lovely guided meditation in which the mantra was “I trust,” the idea being to replace fear with trust.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust the swarms of mosquitoes in the woods.  (For those interested, the meditation is Transform Fear Into Trust and can be found on davidji’s blog at the link I just provided.  I’m not sure if you need to be registered to access it or not.)

Hiding in the shadow.
Hiding in the shadow.

We had a grand view of the Milky Way once earth’s shadow covered the moon.  I think my next photo challenge will be to learn more about night photography, and then practice what I learn.  The way I learn, it might end up being the opposite.  I’ll go out with the camera and shoot until I get something I like, and then I’ll read up on it.  I understand it better if I figure it out for myself first.  It’s not always the easiest way to learn, but it works for me.

Slowly moving along.
Slowly moving along.

I haven’t yet looked at other people’s photos of last night’s moon.  I was waiting until I sorted through my own.  It was difficult to wait because I know there are some great images out there.  I’d better wrap this up so I go and see.

Going...
Going…

Thanks for dropping in today and having a look at the Big Moon through my lens.  I think we’re going to have a beautiful sunset this evening.  Join me down at the Point if you want to watch it with me.  Sunset is at 6:51 this evening.  Gosh, that seems early, doesn’t it?

going...
going…

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Almost gone.
Almost gone.

Today’s joys:  The sound of the wind playing the wind chimes; the sight of the clouds racing across the sky; the scent of salt sea air; the taste of a crisp, fresh apple; the feel of the soft cotton shirt I’m wearing today (I found a store that sells the softest cotton t-shirts I’ve ever encountered and I love wearing them).

Super duper Harvest Blood Moon.
Super duper Harvest Blood Moon.  This is about the time the high, thin clouds moved in and started softening the look of the moon.

 

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

30 thoughts on “Moon and clouds and illusions

  1. You got some really nice shots! I tried to get some too – even read up on settings and such and got my tripod out, but it just wasn’t working for me. At 10:00 last night when the eclipse was starting the moon was so high in the sky my barely telephoto lens wasn’t up to snuff. Did you happen to get these with your point and shoot? I do remember point and shoots often have quite the zooming ability. Nice job Robin!

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 I used the Canon. I was tempted to use the point and shoot because I know how to get what I want with it, but thought it was time I learned to use the Canon. I got a 75-300 zoom lens as part of the package when I bought it, but would love something better for capturing birds and the moon.

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    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I think I’ll be doing more shopping at the surf shop in Ocean City since I love the softness of their t-shirts. Now that beach season is over, there should be some good deals, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous, Robin! I brought my camera, drove out to a field to get the best view and realised I had forgotten my tripod by my front door! Yeah. OK. I’ll just have to enjoy others’ photos such as yours!!

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    1. Thank you, Dale. 🙂 I took most of the shots without a tripod. I was too lazy to drag it out, thinking the clouds would probably move back in by the time I set it up. I had to use it when it got close to totality.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Clouds, clouds, clouds – all we got. But the moon the night before was just as elegant. So many seem to feel worry about the red coloring being ominous with blood moons – they just seem fall-ish and painterly to me. Rather warm and harvest in feeling
    Enjoyed your pictures and commentary

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  4. By the time the sky was dark enough and the moon rose up over the hills, it was past its blood moon, coming out from behind the earth’s shadow. I had set my tripod up, but my camera and I weren’t up to the task, I’m afraid. Love your shots.

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  5. It was overcast and rainy here in Georgia, so we missed it altogether! From what I saw with my Facebook friends, it wasn’t much different in Virginia either.

    I wouldn’t be trusting the mosquitoes either!

    Nancy

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  6. For us it was too early. When the moon rise at 6:47, we were at dinner. When the eclipse arrayed at 7:11, we were at dinner. We finally finished and drive up the hill and saw the red color of the moon after it was all over. So we missed the eclipse but we caught the red moon, which I had never seen in all my 59 years!

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  7. Great photos! We were blessed with clear skies last night as well – a thrill since the forecast was pretty sketchy. I stayed up until about 11 taking pics until the moon was hidden by our roof and I didn’t feel like moving the tripod off the deck. (We have lots of creatures out there and I don’t want to be accidentally encountering any of them!) It was pretty chilly and damp – I had wool hat and fingerless gloves and still came in chilled to the bone. Unlike you, I had never taken any successful night shots, but I had a few notes from another blogger and looked through my manual. The first half hour I was swearing like a sailor until I got the hang of it. I am so intolerant of learning curves. 😉 I haven’t processed them yet (my eyesight is getting so bad, I’m afraid they’ll be trash – another reason for my resistance to ‘what is’) but I’ll work on them tomorrow. I guess in the long run all that matters is that I witnessed a very cool celestial event! I, too, was appreciating the timing, I was thinking of the poor folks in England getting up in the wee hours to see it!

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    1. Beautiful shots Robin, I caught the moon, but it could have been a streetlamp, or a dinner plate, for the clearness of it. I should do some night time practice too I think. 🙂
      On another note… Are we all doing walktober again this year. I don’t have anything planned as yet, but I’m sure I can come up with something. 🙂

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      1. Thank you, Sallyann. 🙂 Yes, we’ll be doing Walktober. I’m going to do the official post about it on Thursday (1 October). The dates will be 1 October through 25 October. That should give everyone time to plan, walk, and post.

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    2. For some reason, that didn’t come out as a reply so let me try it again:

      Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I know what you mean about lots of creatures being out and about at night. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t spent time on our dock at night. I have to walk through the woods to get there, and who knows what I might encounter? In your case, you probably have bigger creatures to worry about. We don’t have bears here on the Eastern Shore.

      I am looking forward to seeing the moon through your eyes and lens. My eyesight isn’t great, either, which is why digital is so wonderful. I can take a lot of shots to get one good one. On the other hand, sometimes I’ve ended up without a good one even though I thought they all looked good.

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  8. It was cloudy so I didn’t see it. To be honest, because I love in the city, what I really miss seeing are the stars. On a clear night in the countryside, it really is quite spectacular.

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  9. The moon illusion is definitely magic. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my heroes, too. I remember hearing, when I was younger, about the perigee moon and spring tides – wondering when they began calling it a supermoon. You took some great pictures! Love soft cotton shirts, too. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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