Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Night Under the Moon

 My friend Jenny had the great idea to take the kids for a moonlit hike. During the summer, Great Basin National Park offers full moon hikes to Stella Lake. Now that it's October, those hikes are over, but there was nothing to stop us from going ourselves! We decided that we would try Strawberry Creek instead of Stella Lake. One of the reasons is that we wanted to hear elk bugling, and indeed we did. In the photo above, we stopped to listen to the eerie sound.

 As we hiked, the nearly full moon rose over the ridge. We tried to have the kids keep their flashlights off. It wasn't easy for them, as they were not comfortable hiking at night with just the glow of the moon. Gradually, though, they got used to it.

 We've hiked the Strawberry Creek loop before, but in daylight. The kids fondly remembered the bridges.

It didn't take long to get to the top bridge. We stopped for snacks and photos. It was hard to get everyone to sit still! Can you see the Big Dipper in the background? (It's on the left.)

We decided to play around with long exposures and some flashlight writing. I set the camera to take a 30-second exposure, then keeping the headlight covered, ran over and wrote the word "moon." Then I illuminated us for a couple seconds. Again it was hard to keep everyone still, and I look like a ghost, but you get the idea! We'll have to work on this technique some more.

After the bridge we were out in the meadow, and it was so bright! The kids walked really fast, and by now it was no problem to hike in the moon light without flashlights.

I was amazed how bright everything was with just the moon. I dragged behind experimenting with photos.

We got to the bridge at the end right about bed time. It was the perfect length hike for the kids.

Later that night I woke up to go check out the lunar eclipse. I took a ton of photos but wasn't very happy with how they turned out. It reinforced my desire to do a 2015 Moon Photo Challenge. I'll have more up on the blog about that later, but basically the idea is to take a photo of the full moon each month, experimenting with different locations and techniques. I hope you'll join me!

Here's the full moon from under the fall colors.

The blood moon during the full eclipse.

And finally, the eclipse ending.

I was exhausted the next morning, but it was worth it.


I Am Woody said...

How great is that?!? I'm sure the kids will remember it for a long, long time!

jhami said...

Love it! Those pictures are so great. Wonderful memories.... We should make a moon hike an annual tradition!

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