Lunar and Urban Juxtaposition

When my alarm turned on this past Saturday at six thirty in the morning, I wasn’t really all that keen on getting out of bed and even less so when I heard the weather forecast being touted as minus forty bellow! Regrettably, I had missed the name of the town and assumed it was for my hometown and just curled back into bed where I was quite warm and cosy. I awoke later to see that it was coming up to seven o’clock and panicked. I was late!

I jumped out of bed, put on my long underwear and warm clothes then grabbed my jacket and binoculars. As I got into the kitchen and looked up from lacing my boots I had my first glimpse of that mornings lunar eclipse. The Earth’s shadow had already started to cover the moon. I stopped and watched for a moment taking in this great marvel before pulling my facemask tight around my head, I was now prepared to face this forty bellow.

As I stepped out the first thing I notice was that it was that cold out, I guess I had misheard the temperature, or more likely overheard the temperature for one of the other cities. I spared no time and walked briskly down my back alley to the main street where I turned west and went and stood across from my old grade school. It turned out to be a great spot to watch the lunar eclipse.

I must have made an odd site all bundled up, standing on the side walk early on a Saturday morning with a pair of binoculars pointed at the sky, unfortunately there was no one around to take the strange spectacle. As I continued to watch the moon disappear into the Earth’s shadow I felt a strange urge to go knocking on doors or stop the odd passing car and encourage people to take the time to see this wonderful event. Not having anyone to share the moment with, I ran back home to get my camera in hopes that I could capture some good photos.

Unfortunately my skill with a my point and shoot digital camera is limited to, well, point and shoot so the pictures I took just didn’t work out, even the ones where I lay on the ground hoping that would help stead my rather shaky hands.

In the end, I put my camera away and just enjoyed the eclipse, alternating between just looking up at the moon with the naked eye and viewing it through my binoculars. As the glow of the sun started to precede its rise in the east more cars started filling the street and the odd person made their way to the bus stop, all, it seemed, oblivious to the last total lunar eclipse visible on Earth until April of 20141.

As the eclipse near totality, a spectacular moment took place. Four deer ran across the field of my old school making their way back to the safety of the river after a night of scouring the suburbs for food. I managed to whip out my point and shoot and capture the moment thanks to the morning glow. The photo is really quite amazing, in my opinion, as it juxtaposes a number of opposites: the moon nearing full eclipse against the glow of it’s celestial dance partner the sun (that is usually hidden from view during such an event) and the abundance of wild life set against the background of an urban school.

I hope you enjoy this photo as much as I have.

1. http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEdecade/LEdecade2011.html