Harvest Moon Rising

Almost clear of the horizon

Tuesday, September 21, 2011— (September’s full moon (“Harvest”) begins its waning phase. October’s full moon (“Hunter’s”) rises on the 20th.)

Yesterday evening, Susie and I headed east to a farmer’s field where we like to go and to await first glimpses of the month’s fullest moon, newly rising. At the destination, we unload cameras and (in the right weather) a cold couple beers, and unfold chairs. We wait for first moon light, share interests, activities, and plans.

That’s our “waiting part”, we’re in a perfect space to achieve our goal. We discovered this small offbeat spot by focusing on technical aspects of what we hoped to accomplish.

Where we sit gives a clear view across the farmer’s large flat acreage, surrounded by a string of bare buttes. From behind one of those buttes will emerge a uniquely bright light reflecting the now-setting sun.

Sun’s last glowing from behind the Cascades
Last spot of sunlight

Susie does our research and determines which compass point will allow first-sighting of a perfectly round globe. We keep watching that point and on-time are rewarded.

A first glimpse of an appearing moon structure is awesome, magnificently and stunningly beautiful. The event gets more exciting as an emerging globe becomes more visible.

The Harvest Moon isn’t a Super Moon, but compared to bigger moons it emerges as equally thrilling or maybe better. Last evening while it was hanging low and most colorful, we tried for best sighted in various ways, through naked eyes, powerful binoculars, and using cameras.

Earlier through our waiting, and now as we photographed, between ourselves and that horizon across the field, the farmer’s herd of alert llamas watched us intently. At a low spot among the buttes, just behind that barn, the moon would rise.

We were treated by natural sounds. There were owls in nearby trees teaching babies to hunt, coyotes yipping and hunting in the distance, and swooshing by a hawk circling the farmer’s field.

And otherwise only silence. And that moon!

Our “chasing team”, with way-in-the-background “vague bumps”, actually are about 50 llamas.

Our background, closer-up

Dear Friends: Susie can spot visible planets, point to their locations, is a wealth of sky knowledge. Diana

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