Posts Tagged ‘full moon’

Moon Variations

I was outside last night with my camera and was trying to get good pictures of the moon. The pictures weren’t good or interesting until….

I started experimenting. It was a full moon.

I would move the camera slightly to getthe interesting effects.

It didn’t take much movement to get the variations in the moon.

It surprised me to get the long “moon” with very little movement.

Now I wait until the next full moon so

   I can experiment more with my moon pictures.

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Another Face

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I always take pictures of the full moon (some, like this one, from in the house). The trees blocked the last full moon until bedtime. So, I took the camera in the bedroom and later took pictures through the south window when the moon peaked through the trees. I didn’t realize until the next day, when I was looking at the pictures, that I photographed what looked like a moon spirit …

The man in the moon does exist!

Under a Full Moon

I know these pictures are a tad strange and suggest leaning back to view them.

Back in the early 90’s I wrote and illustrated weekly nature articles for several local newspapers. This meant I spent a lot of time hiking and camping in nature. I illustrated each article with an ink drawing. I also own 33 acres that is now a registered land and water reserve, translating to one step below a nature preserve.

My goal was to see the different plant communities in different weather, at different times of day and in the different seasons.

One winter full moon started out cloudy, and I had planned to go to my land and paint small watercolor pictures by moonlight. The sky partially cleared. I suited up and hurried the seven miles down there.

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Water ran in the creek, and snow blanketed the ground.

No flashlight was used. This first picture was viewing across the creek, with moonlight hitting the water, and trees casting their shadows across it.

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This was painted after I crossed the creek and where a trail started up the hill.

I painted with colors I couldn’t see.

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The night was humid and the paint didn’t dry.

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I became immersed in the night, the full moon … heard a barred owl hooting and coyotes calling.

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My last painting was of the grassy barrens with the wooded ravine in the background.

That night stayed with me for a long time. These pictures hang in my bedroom, and occasionally take me back to that special night.

The Grandmother Tree

My best tree friend

I’d like to introduce you to the Grandmother Tree, my first and best tree friend. The sugar maple is close to the creek and to the trail that crosses the ravine here at my property. Through the years, I’ve sat leaning against it and journaled. I’ve seen it in fog, rain, mounded with snow and coated with ice. I’ve seen it budding in the spring and later wearing the varied colors of fall. One fall it even snowed when the colors had just reached their peak!

I’ve seen it silhouetted by the full moon and watched the moon climb among its branches. I’ve drawn it countless times by moonlight (with no flashlight). One winter night with a full moon, my youngest son and I laid at the base with our heads near the trunk. The Grandmother tree looked like a giant spider standing over us. We laid there and made up stories.

The bluff is behind me from where I sit by the tree. It runs north and south on the west side of the ravine. There’s a perfect depression for sitting where the south end of the bluff disappears into the hill. I call it “my rock.” It offers me a higher vantage point for viewing the Grandmother Tree and the ravine. I’ve always wondered what might den in the cavity at the top of it, or if it’s too open to be used for a den. One time a sleeping raccoon had its tail hanging out the hole on the side just down from the top cavity. It didn’t look hidden to me.

I end my memory walk.

All this changed last summer in a strong storm when lightning struck and downed the Grandmother Tree. It had been leaning a little more than usual. I was aware of the inevitable; I just didn’t expect it end this way, or so soon. It’s been quite a loss, since I have 30 or so years of memories with the tree.

I sit on the trunk now. The sky’s cloudy. The ravine blocks most of the west wind, and the healthy flow in the creek overpowers most other sounds. The Grandmother tree took another tree down with it, and they both lay across the creek. The creek banks are high enough that neither tree lays in the creek bed.

I now realize that I have years to watch the next stage in the tree’s existence. Mosses grow in crevices in the bark of the limbs.Tiny lichens grow on the bark. Irregular shapes of a flat black fungus are scattered on the sides and top of the whole trunk. I will now watch for signs of wildlife seeking shelter, places to nest and maybe caching food. Two small cavities where limbs fell long ago, now hold water. A squirrel left acorn pieces in a small depression between them. There will probably be mushrooms, more kinds of lichens, and who knows what.

Now I’ll have the thrill of discovery and more memories.