Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Lunar Eclipse" 2-20-08

Last night I went out at 10pm to catch the Lunar Eclipse. I bundled up as warm as I could, I brought my Canon 20D on a tripod, my tiny Olympus FE230 in my pocket and so I could see what I was doing with settings on my camera, I little reading light that I clipped to my coat near my neck. Um...yeah, I looked like a total photo geek~haha.
The sky had clouds coming and going, passing over the moon then totally clear for long ranges of time. I just couldn't get over the beauty, solitude and peace the stars, moon, clouds and trees gave. I stood 'night' dreaming about how it would be to watch these same stars in Ireland or England; are my friends there looking at them too? Then I wondered if I could go there and longed to be these feelings were on me, I saw a huge shooting star, right where I was looking to the North!! It went right into the cup of the Big Dipper, no kidding! I was so excited. This was between taking pictures of the moon and trees, I couldn't believe how bright and starry it was. Then as the excitement ebbed, I felt another emotion of loneliness. Sometimes when I look at a vast night sky with gorgeous stars, such a special moon and clouds, I have a feeling of infinite aloneness. These same stars have had countless people not unlike myself, over thousands of years, gazing up in wonder, perhaps feeling lonely too. My warrior "Orian" stands above my house waiting to follow me on my journeys.
Today I talked to my very talented photographer friend Gene Witkowski, who is also an avid Astronomy buff. I told Gene that the moon looked like it was part of a big S, he told me it is in the lower part of Leo. Leo being the 'backwards question mark'. In my first large picture you can see a star directly over the moon, that's 'Regularus' (in Leo) and the bright star to the lower left is not a star at all but Saturn! Saturn moves so slow that it takes 2 years to go around the sun, so it will be a part of a constellation for awhile.
Gene told me an interesting story about Christopher Columbus and a Lunar Eclipse. I guess when Columbus and his crew landed here in the Americas, they started to run out of food. This was a serious problem obviously, they were in dire straights. He had seen in his star charts that there would be a Lunar Eclipse. So he told the local Indians that he would make the moon disappear if they didn't feed him and his men. They didn't believe him until the moon disappeared!! So they gave them food and it is what saved their lives.

Moral of the story I guess is be learned, be aware of the changes of nature around you, it could save your life! Hmmm...I wish more people would pay attention to nature and what's going on with it.


Sarah E. said...

I like the photos, came out great. The Christopher Columbus story was rather neat! Followed your link from the list...I'll be back!

Mary McAndrew said...

Thanks Sarah,
I'm glad you liked visiting and will be back! I love sharing my experiences in the field and just day to day. What list are you from?, I posted on a few.
Thanks for commenting,

camulus said...

These are very lovely pictures of the Eclipse, it seems that artwork is not your only talent. I would not get too lonesome out there Mary under the stars, as you know there is hardly a time when some form of satellite is not gazing down upon you.

It is a good job that it was not a cloudy night back in the 1492. Otherwise Columbus would have been the first to have seemingly fallen victim to the "Bermuda Triangle" to the folks back home in Europe and the Americas might have remained unplundered by the Conquistadors. I suppose the word lunatic could be a native American word for one that gives food to false prophets.ha!ha!!

Mary McAndrew said...

Why thanks Camulus,
It's true, I love photography also, but I have so many friends who are so knowledgeable and talented with it, that I just call myself a painter. But, lately I've started to print my photos and have gotten a great response to them. The first thing I bought with my first job in High School was a Konica 35mm film camera, I still have it.
Sometimes it's great to just catch things the way you see them with a camera, but it's in painting that you can 'push' color and emotion immediately, (I know you can when using photoshop, but to me that's not coming right from the artist-oh God I hope I don't upset my photographer friends!)
About Chris C..I guess that's the funny thing about history and why it's interesting...wondering what would have happened if?...