Facebook Memories recently reminded me that two years ago this month was my first attempt to capture anything in the night sky.
It was January 2019 and the “super blood wolf moon” was scheduled to make an appearance. I mentioned to the Iceman I’d like to attempt some photos. Even though it promised to be cold and late, not to mention NFL conference championship football night, his first response was, “Where are we going?” I love him for that.
So, we set out to see if we could capture the super blood wolf moon. We initially set up shop in a wide-open field, way out in the country, next to a cemetery. Yes, a cemetery. In the dark. That’s just the way it worked out. With our boots firmly planted on frozen midwestern dirt, it was eerily still and quiet. Our only company was a lone coyote making his way across the field to one side of us.
The thermometer glowed a frigid 4 degrees, but we were blessed with no wind and an inky black sky! The moon was full and beautiful and bright, casting an extraordinary glow on us, the dearly departed saints nearby, and the coyote. A coyote that I am very grateful had no interest in us.
The glory of the Lord’s creation warmed my heart if not my toes!
We had no sooner gotten set up and settled, when we noticed clouds beginning to roll in. Both our eyes and our weather app indicated there would be no break in the unexpected clouds. What’s an enthusiast photographer and her faithful wheelman to do? We became Moon Chasers! We threw everything in the truck, and headed south!
We arrived at our secondary location not long before the eclipse was to begin. As the moonglow was gradually dimmed by the eclipse, the moon took on a red color. The stars around it became more visible, twinkling brightly. The blood moon of the eclipse was captured even as I worried over the frost that was forming on my camera and lens. It was so cold! The last photo was taken through a lens with unique and perfect frost crystals forming on it. We called it a night at that point, a bit before the full eclipse, but 4 hours after we started.
The eclipse photos as not the best, but they are special to me. They were a learning experience, yes, but more than that they were a turning point. They ignited in me the desire to strive to capture the night sky that I have loved since I was a child. And, each time I get to point my camera at the night sky, when I am finished with photos, I carefully pack away my gear. Then, I take the time to be still, to gaze into the heavens, not with a Canon lens but with attentive eyes, and contemplate the one who created it all.
And, I am thankful.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.”Genesis 1:1, 16-18, ESV