The Blood Red Moon
I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The Sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord
Joel 2:31 & Acts 2:20
A Blood Moon sounds ominous; it is not. Those who believe it is a sign of end times should be joyous because it may signal Jesus’ return. Provocateurs in astrology look to the link of the blood moon with astrological events and signs, my take on these are– it is a bunch of bunk. But heavenly events such as a lunar eclipse during a full flowering moon display the harmony of heaven and God’s orchestration of the universe. We have no idea earth is traveling through space at break-neck speed on a typical day. As Sun travels around the Milky Way, the world travels around Sun, and the moon travels around the earth, we seldom realize everything is dancing in a heavenly production. Watching the heavens promenade is why I love astrophotography, meteor showers, comets, sunrises, and sunsets. But it takes practice and failure to become accomplished at capturing these heavenly times. I like to take still images and time-lapse videos of celestial bodies and events.
The first lesson of photography is, “it’s all about the light!” As the summer solstice approaches, the days grow longer, and the nights are brief. It is the long haul season for a northern plains photographer. The early light of day starts at 5:00 am, and the evening light begins to fade at 10:00 pm. I love the soft light hours of the day; these hours are peaceful. Harshness is washed away in soft pastels and vivid color simultaneously. I also love astrophotography, the night stars, and the galactic center of the Milky Way prefer the midnight hours. When special heavenly events occur, I am willing to sacrifice sleep for a possible good picture. This past Sunday, we experienced a celestial event, a flowering blood moon; my location would see the whole process from penumbra to umbra and back to full moonlight.
There is a secret place at the edge of the Turtle Mountains that one can see forever. At least to the distant horizon painted with farmland textures and changing colors. I viewed the lunar eclipse and flowering blood moon from this scenic hillside. My hope pictured the blood moon over the small city lights below, but it rose north across the hills. I prepared a time-lapse video and still images. The cool of the evening chilled my enthusiasm, but undaunted, I worked into the darkness. My photographic affliction leads me to all genres of the art—I am a generalist specializing in no specific subject matter. I have photographed newborns, people in streets, portraits, weddings, landscapes, nature, wildlife, macro, and Astro. I will always be in a learning mode in my generalist affliction, and I have accepted I will never be an award-winning photographer in any genre. I will always be an apprentice. I press forward and have some fun trying. I thought I would take you with me through a typical long summer day of photographing life—saddle up and enjoy the ride along.
My Sunday started at School Section Lake for a 5 am sunrise and finished at midnight at the brown buffalo hill. I woke at 4:14, and after brewing some coffee and filling my thermos, I loaded up my camera go-bag and tripod. Driving these early hours demands care slow watchful eye for deer and critters running out from the forest. The sound of nature waking is awe-inspiring; it is music to the soul. The loons with their haunting call, the frogs providing bass, and birds fill the orchestra. It is just a five-minute drive, and I am in the state park and at a location, they call “Cormorant.” These mountains have plenty of lakes. Cormorant faces School Section Lake, a great sunrise location. The place is hopping with morning activities.
After the sunrise, I need some protein, time for breakfast. I prefer eggs and animal flesh. Then the demands of owning property are always under construction, and a food-forest yard takes center stage. We are finishing a new garage, carriage house/studio. The cabin is in a constantly evolving state of completion, tile needs setting, and baseboards need staining and sealing. Yard to mow and juneberries to plant. You get the picture. As noon approaches, the recliner calls for a snappy nappy; lately, nappies take about an hour. Then back to work around the house, and as supper time approaches, I check my camera gear for the evening and work on the images from yesterday and the morning. After supper, a bit of loving fellowship, discussion, and planning for tomorrow—then off to the West side of the mountains for the evening shoot. Sunday evening shoot was the blood moon at the Brown Buffalo location. It was the first-night shoot, so I made plenty of mistakes. The time-lapse video tells the story best, but until I get a YouTube channel started, I can’t share it because the file size is too large. For this writing, stills will have to do—I hope you enjoy God’s work!