Full moon

It was full moon last night. And although the day had started off cloudy, by evening, the sky had cleared, and the air was crystalline, with the stars like brilliant diamonds against the darkness. Close to 11pm at night, needing a break from working on the computer, I set up my tripod in the back garden.

As soon as my eyes had adjusted to being outside, I realised that the moon was so bright that the leaves of the plants and the blades of grass on the lawn were almost aglow in the silvery light it cast. It struck me as even more extraordinary because the moon is not a source of light: it ‘merely’ reflects the light of the sun, which was now somewhere below the western horizon, far out of my line of sight.

Thinking of it like that made it feel quite magical.

I played with the settings on the camera, trying to capture the perfect shot of the moon between the leaves of the big Rhus tree.

It proved tricky.

The moon was almost directly overhead, which meant that I had to kneel on the dew-damp grass. I got a crick in my neck, trying to squint at the preview monitor from below. The cold and wet knees business wasn’t conducive to lingering on the grass, so I moved the tripod onto the paving next to the pool. But now I really had to make sure that the camera was screwed tightly onto the top of the tripod so that it wouldn’t fall, or I’d be in deep trouble.

And I soon remembered that the problem with long exposures and big apertures is that the slightest movement will blur the picture hopelessly. So I tried to use the handy 10-second self-timer and kept my hands away from the camera… hoping fervently that the screw holding it to the top of the tripod was tight enough.

Just when I was trial-and-error-ing towards the right combination of aperture, exposure and shutter speed, the wind picked up, catching the top branches of the tree.

Oh, and my battery light started flashing, and shortly afterwards shut down the camera.

So this is the best shot I got. Under the circumstances, I’m very happy with it. πŸ™‚

Moon above the Rhus tree

Moon above the Rhus tree

And then, because it was just too beautiful outside to go to bed just yet, we went for a moonlight stroll around the block.

Pure magic.

7 thoughts on “Full moon

    • Hi Mike

      I agree – don’t think you can really zoom in much with our little earthbound cameras.

      According to Wiki Answers: “On average, the distance between the Moon and the Earth is 384,403 kilometers. This distance fluctuates between 363,104 kilometers and 405,696 kilometers due to the eccentricity of the Moon’s orbit. At perigee the moon can be 356,567 km (221,560 miles). At apogee, as much as 406,660 km (252,687 miles). Due to tidal friction, the moon recedes at a rate of roughly 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) per year, though when there was only one continent the recession rate was less. Approximately 238,855 miles from Earth.”

  1. Kathy (centria) mentioned a couple of days ago that this full moon is known as the ‘Raspberry Moon’ by North American natives. Regardless of its name. it certainly is magical on both sides of the Atlantic.

    • ‘Raspberry Moon’? That almost sounds like a flavour of ice-cream!

      I was so intrigued by this comment – and by Centria’s beautiful post, that I googled the name and found a list of full moon names! So you guys weren’t pulling my leg! I am simply astounded at the fact that the full moon each month has a different name!

      For instance, did you know these?

      January: Frost on inside of Lodge Moon
      February: Moon of Wind Scattering Leafs Over the Snow Crust
      March: Moon when Eyes are Sore from Bright Snow
      April: Wild Goose Moon
      May: Moon When the Ice Goes Out of the Rivers
      June: Berry Ripening Season Moon
      July: Go Home Kachina Moon
      August: Dog’s Day Moon
      September: Moon of Spiderwebs on the Ground
      October: Big Wind Moon
      November: Moon of the Falling Leaves
      December: Big Freezing Moon

      Fascinating. (But who is Kachina?)

      Sadly for me, all of these relate to the Northern Hemisphere. I wonder whether the original inhabitants of our lands also had such names for the moon as it passed through the seasons? If not, I’m gonna have to make up our own….

  2. I first heard the term Kachina years ago in reference to Kachina dolls made by the Hopi tribe. Wikipedia says that…

    “A kachina can be anything from a revered ancestor, to an element, a location, a quality, a natural phenomenon, or a concept.”

    Kachinas are celebrated at certain times of the year. When this celebration time ends, I’m guessing that it must then be the time for the Go Home Kachina Moon.

    Yes, I think you should make up some moon names if you don’t come across any that already exist in your part of the world. It will make them even more special.

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