Full Moon Over Maine

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We skirted a frost last week and the tomatoes are still growing strong, although the pumpkins in my garden are taking for ever to ripen. From that garden, I've frozen packets of snow peas, green beans, and butternut squash. I've picked quarts of blueberries to freeze and I've canned peach slices, peach and cherry jam, rhubarb and tomato sauce, not to mention numerous batches of 'sun-dried' tomatoes (OK, there was a food dehydrator involved for those...) Fall must be on its way.

Sometimes, the simplest things bring up past memories, and just two days ago the Harvest Moon shone bright over the house. There I was again, seeing all those times as a kid when I helped to gather up the last of the baled hay by harvest moonlight. All those years living in Boston I almost forgot about that moon. Sure, I'd notice the full, heavy moon, as it rose over the neighbors' houses down the street and maybe I'd take a couple of minutes to appreciate it. But I never knew then how much I missed it.

Photography has recently become a passion of mine and there were times when I took a stab at a night shot of a full moon in the city. The photos would come out technically OK, but there was always something not quite right, and I never could figure out why. I think I have now, though. It was seeing that moon through all those city lights. Pale, washed out, only the brightest of stars visible around it; I'd forgotten just how powerful that moon is without all that human clutter to look through.

So, fall has come and for the first time in almost thirty years, I am in the country again, with the entire Milky Way overhead and a full, bright, shining moon hanging over my garden. Turn the house lights off, step outside and it is simply amazing. The greens, browns and yellows by day all become shades of gray in the moonlight and it is wondrous.

I spent an hour outside, photographing by that light the other night. While the shutter of the digital camera ticked off the minutes of exposure time, I had time to just look up at the night sky. In the country, on a quiet, unlit road, the universe seems to explode from that sky. And the Man in the Moon? Yes, he's still there.

I'll have to make sure I get outside more often, now that the bugs are almost gone for the season, to look at that sky. I pity the people in the cities who are unable to look up and notice the universe above their heads on a night like this...

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This page contains a single entry by JeffAdminist published on January 20, 2009 11:53 PM.

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