17 May 2022


It had been a very, very long time since I'd observed a lunar eclipse that started before nightfall. And I wasn't entirely sure I would be able to watch the May 15 event. We had clouds on the horizon just before moonrise, and I really didn't think they would clear in time. I thought I wouldn't catch a glimpse until halfway into the total lunar eclipse last weekend.

I was periodically watching out the window as I worked on the final border of my Green Batik Leftovers QAYG project and while I had a live cam view of the eclipse as viewed from Chile on YouTube. I nearly jumped for joy, pinned quilt strips in my hands, when I saw the very tip of the moon appear on my distant horizon. I hadn't prepared very well; I didn't think I was going to be treated!!!

I dropped the quilt strips back onto the dining room table then ran for the camera before heading out the back door and running up the hill to the fence. I shot through the chainlink fence (and even captured a few vignettes caused by said fence) only to discover my horizon was not as clear as I thought. Too many power lines in the way!!! I do not remember having to struggle with those before, alhtough I typically did not shoot the moon or the sun as they creep over the horizon from my backyard fence in the past. So much has changed in the last two years!

The sky was lighter than it appears in the photo above. I decided power lines would have to do (they do assist with the visual element of size) and underexposed the photos to enhance the red hue. The moon soon was enveloped by clouds, and I went back to sewing for about 15 to 20 minutes, continuing to check progress out the window every jelly roll strip or so.

I could have finished the quilt Sunday night. But I decided when the moon finally popped back out of the clouds the eclipse would be more fun.

By the time the moon emerged from the clouds, the sky was dark. The moon still wasn't high enough for me to shoot from my (new concrete) back porch without capturing the fence too for another hour. So I had to keep traversing the hill in the dark while creepy crawlies stirred alongside my careful steps for nearly an hour. I set the camera up on my (old) tripod once the moon cleared the fence. I was too lazy to run out to the car to retrieve the newer tripod, which hasn't been used at all since my mother-in-law bought the car for us just over a year ago.

The older tripod isn't set up for my current camera, which is why Lizard bought the new one for me as a birthday present about two or three years ago. The only way I could get my current camera set up on the older tripod was to attach it backwards, which made manipulating the tripod head haphazard at best. It wasn't long before I was deeply regretting my decision not to dig the newer tripod out of the trunk prior to nightfall. Yet, I made the circumstances work. I didn't get off as many shots as I would have, and I didn't always shoot as slow as I would have, had I used the newer tripod. But I managed to get a few decent shots, which will be featured for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow.

Sitting on the porch, however, I was visited by more (and now visible in the porch light) creepy crawlies, including an obnoxious cricket, as I realized my camera battery was beginning to run low. The cricket tried to invite himself in each time I went back into the house to hunt for another camera power cord. Four times!!!

The first cord I retrieved was from my most recent time lapse photography session, the blooming of one of our hoya plants. That first didn't fit into the Nikon. I'd used the phone for the hoya sequence. The second cord, which was near my personal computer I use almost every evening, didn't fit either. It was to my Big Gun, my first professional-grade digital camera, purchased back in 2008. I don't even know what the third cord goes to after pulling it out of my laptop case. The third cord doesn't fit in any of my Nikons. The fourth cord, which came out of my camera bag, which I haven't used for more than a year now, was the one I needed. But by this time, the camera battery had died, and all I could get that fouth cord to do was charge the battery. I guess the cord has to make contact with the battery while there is still juice in the battery in order to power the camera while charging.

Lizard had fallen asleep, so I decided I could be done for the night. It might have been fun to stay up and watch the rest of the show, but Lizard had an eye checkup at 7:30 the next morning, and I'm designated driver. I quietly put everything away and thankfully was out like a light maybe half an hour later. Lessons learned. I will be better prepared for the November 7-8 eclipse, and I hope the lessons stay in my head until the next total lunar eclipse 14 March 2025!

1 comment :

Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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