We drove on snow-packed roads, then down a farm road to reach Vestrahorn peak. It is, oddly enough, privately owned because the farmer owns all the land that surrounds it. The sunset was very promising, but then got cut short by another massive snow squall that had been holding off to the south all day.
We arrived at this huge glacier just before the roads closed to the west of us from a major winter storm. Serious winds, 50mph and up, stinging snow. But underneath the icecap, it’s an entirely different world. Here are a couple of exposure merges done with Lightroom.
There’s something about these special astronomical events that won’t occur again in my lifetime. On January 31, 2018, we were fortunate to witness a Super Blue Blood Moon. That is a full moon that is
- A Blue Moon, the second full moon of a month
- A Super Moon, one at the closest point of it’s orbit to Earth
- A Blood Moon, in other words, a full lunar eclipse
So I packed up the camera, the tripod, and the dog, and headed out to Baylands. I would have gone to the ocean, up on the bluff south of Moss Beach, but I checked the weather (fortunately), and it was foggy. We had a great time in the early morning dew. The eclipse lasted well over an hour for us. Curiously, the colors came out more vivid than I saw in the night sky.
Later on, around 6:30, I took this image from my driveway just as the moon was setting over the western hills. Total occlusion was over, and the sliver of light lit up the tree branches nicely.
I went up to the wonderful little town of Driggs, Idaho for the solar eclipse. Found some rolling hills off the back roads with perfect unobstructed view of the Tetons, and set up for the duration.
I can understand how earlier cultures might have thought the world was ending. About halfway to total occlusion, it became noticeably darker, and also noticeably cooler. It was a strange sensation, no clouds in the sky, but really felt like the light had just vanished. Then, during totality, the shadow swept across the hills, and every direction had an orange sunset glow. The sun looked like an angry black hole, the corona danced around the moon. The birds stopped flying, the ants stopped moving, everything was eerily still.
It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.