Around here there was a fair bit of blue moon celebration a couple of weeks back. A couple of the state parks hosted blue moon paddles that night; I found out about them too late to attend, and instead of being out on the water I was being the good fiancee and attended the theater production that Mandy was in.
So I made up for it the next morning by hauling the Tarpon out to Lackawanna State Park for sunrise, where I watched the blue moon set.
Aside from being a tasty brand of beer, a blue moon is an astronomical condition where two full moons occur in the same month, giving us 13 full moons in a single year. It’s pretty straight forward and really nothing all that visually exciting, compared to the eclipses, auroras, and meteor showers we’re treated to throughout the year.
The moon doesn’t look any different during a blue moon, nor is it ever any more blue in color than it is at any other time. But since it only happens once every three years, it’s unusual, and therefore worth some minor celebration.
The pre-sunrise cloud cover broke up perfectly, leaving me with some decorative clouds and then, finally, with a clear blue sky. I paddled around trying to make the most of the morning, capturing a mix of wildlife and landscape photos (check back for others from this morning soon), with one eye on the setting moon the whole time, so that as it started to dip low and interact with the landscape, I’d be able to capture it.
I believe that moon photos work best in context with other elements. A moon floating alone in an empty sky may be haunting, but it’s also without visual drama. Nothing is going on, there’s no story to tell. But mix in some thin, drifting clouds, or elements of the surrounding landscape, and you start to have a story.
I had hoped to catch the moon as it slipped below the treeline, but unfortunately by then the sky was too bright, and the moon was barely visible to the eye, and even less so on camera. But that’s okay, because I’m happy with the photos I got!