I was really tired last night and was seriously considering just saying no the the Blood Moon and hitting the sack early. Figured I could see the pictures online. But as fate would have it, about the time I was ready to drift off, my neighbor was getting ready to see some company off and there was a big commotion outside that put the slammer on getting sleep right then.
The night sky up here at 9000 feet can be pretty awesome at times so I peeked out into the clear cold mountain darkness to see how this night was looking. Not a cloud in the sky, crisp and cold. A perfect night for star gazing, or moon gazing as it were. So I’m thinking, no excuses, this is it. Get out there.
With 40 minutes to the beginning of the big event I started readying my equipment, finding my parka, hat and gloves. I also made a quick check into my photo magazines to see if there might be a word of advice for photographing the night sky. It was going to be cold… some hot cider might not be a bad idea. Winter clothing, check, camera, remote quick release and tripod, check, flashlight, check, plenty of hot cider, check. Finally, right at midnight I was ready to go, so out into the cold I went, just hoping there were no mountain lions or bears with the same idea. My neighbor, curious as to why there was someone out wandering around in the dark, decided to join me in my astronomical aspirations. Some company and conversation in the ghostly light of the rapidly disappearing moon was a welcome addition to the experience.
At midnight I could already see the earth’s shadow beginning to spread across the brilliant surface of the moon. I watched in awe as the amazing event unfolded, the bright sliver of moon getting smaller and smaller and the eerie red shadow growing behind. Finally the moment I had been waiting for, total eclipse. The big moment did not disappoint as the moon turned an unearthly red and remained that way until the cold began to penetrate my heavy winter survival gear. All in all I would have to say the loss of a night’s sleep was well worth the spectral glory imprinted on my brain. Perhaps I will invest in some real night photography gear. Maybe I have discovered a new passion in life.