Note to self

Blue Blood Winter Super Moon Magik

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“It’s still magic,
even if you know how it’s done.”

Terry Pratchett


Two full moons in one month, that’s a blue moon.

During a total lunar eclipse the moon takes on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

During a supermoon, our planet is closer to the moon than usual, so it appears larger and brighter.

All three events at the same time and you have Blue Blood Winter Super Moon Magik.

Happy dreams.

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Nature

Blue Blood Winter Super Moon

Supermoon

“Let’s swim to the moon
Let’s climb through the tide
Surrender to the waiting worlds
That lap against our side.”

Jim Morrison


Hey Jim, let me have some of that, too 🙂

Seriously.

The astronomers did it again. With an uncanny precision they have predicted again the occurrence of a rare  event on the night sky. We had a storm approaching last night with high winds and snow fall. I have not done much night photography and I did not expect to see the lunar eclipse on a full moon. So I did not set a timer.

What woke me up at 6 in the morning? Was it Jimmy? I’ll never know.

So I get up, bundle up to walk to the bathhouse and I see a flash going off. Not thinking clearly at this hour I think somebody has set up a camera trap to get a picture of any wildlife on campus. That’s strange. The I see some shapes in the distance moving around near the bunkhouse. Somebody is awake. What are they doing this early? Too early for sunrise, no wolves howling, no class?

Then it dawns on me. I see a blood orange in the sky. It is supposed to be a bright full moon, but it is not. It is a red moon. Bright at the bottom, darker on top.

I fumble with some knobs and settings to capture the rare event.

What would we do without astronomers? Expect the world come to an end? Or go with Jim?

 

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Mixed bag

Shutdown

The night the lights went out, almost.

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Thousands of miles away the suits are having last minute discussions on whether to shutdown the government or not. I am celebrating a foot of fresh snow.

The lights stayed on. The park will remain open, for now. Xanterra will foot the bill to have the road plowed. Government buildings will remain closed. This could be a great weekend in the park. Just the locals (bison, elk, moose, foxes, coyotes and us) and fresh powder covering up the landscape. Let’s see what the morning has in store…


“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Thomas Jefferson

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One Man's Paradise

Moonlight – № 2

I am ready. I am done with darkness. Let there be sunshine and frigging colors. I knew this time would come. Cabin fever, winter blues, seasonal affective disorder…


“The longest way must have its close –
the gloomiest night
will wear on to a morning.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe


I would not want to miss the experience of a silent night on the lake under a full moon. So bright you could read a book. Walking on the lake, with snow that would creak like Styrofoam. A curious red fox joining me on my midnight excursion. The strange whooping sound of ice cracking under pressure. That and backcountry skiing in pristine powder. Those are my favorite memories of winter in the north…

Wait a minute. There is more. The beautiful subtle colors of winter, the northern lights, cookies and hot chocolate, the holidays…

Not so bad after all. I think I can take another 6 weeks of winter…


Moonlight over Puntilla Lake, Alaska
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Quote

Moonlight

Rainbow Glacier in Moonlight

Rainbow Glacier in Moonlight

“The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”

Yasunari Kawabata


It took a partially cloudy night, a full moon, and a brief power outage to realize the beauty of a moonlit night. Many nights have been filled with darkness and humidity in all shapes and degrees. Clouds, rain, and snow obscured the million dollar views, or the lack of ambient light just  kept everything in the dark. Having the lights on in the house also does not help, since my eyes are not adapted to see what’s going on outside.

So, a little hiccup in our power facility let the lights go out, which is a bit unsettling at first, since you never know how long it will last, and I never can remember where I left my flashlight last.

After a while my eyes adapt and I see a faint shimmering light outside. What is that?

A patch in the night sky opens up. The moonlight hits the mountain range across from my house and is reflected back into the clouds hovering above the mountain tops.

There are moony(?) and shady sides, almost like during the day. Except, I can see stars flicker in the sky.

I manage to setup my camera, put everything in manual mode and 10 seconds later I have “Rainbow Glacier in Moonlight”.

15 minute later the power comes back on and I don’t have to worry that my salmon in the freezer will go back, the water pump will stop and my pipes will burst, and most importantly the internet goes down and I cannot share this magic moment.

Thank you AP&T.

Yasunari Kawabata received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968 and committed suicide in 1972. It took him 13 years to write one of his novels “Snow Country”, which plays in a hot spring resort in the West of Japan, one of the snowiest places on Earth.

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The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
Inside Out

The Starry Night

“This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.”

Vincent van Gogh


This evening I bundled up and stepped outside to look at the starry night sky. After a few days of fog and clouds it was refreshing to see the stars sparkle. The moon was bright, illuminating the surrounding mountains. It’s light was reflected by the snow on the ground, more so than during the shallow diffuse daylight we had for the last couple of days. The trees were covered with long frosty ice crystal, shimmering white against the deep blue night sky.

An amazing view…

There was no sound.

No wind.

No motion.

Just silence…

Suddenly, a loud sound around my feet, as if the earth is cracking, makes my heart jump. I am standing on ice, a frozen lake. The ice is contracting and expanding, cracking and freezing as the temperature changes.

It feels like a small earthquake, although this may be all in my head, standing alone at night in the middle of a noisy ice desert. It’s a bit unnerving.

Even the foxes that curiously observe me shudder when the ice creeks. For a moment I picture the ice opening up for a second and swallowing me alive. Gone…

This is not a horror movie.

It’s just ice expanding and contracting.

Amazing what a little solitude, darkness, and a sudden noise can do.

Slowly, I walk back to my safe retreat, to warm up my fingers and my nose.

Listening to the lake from the shore.

Looking across the lake from my window…

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