Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Peaceful Sunrise - A Time to Make Blood Red Lemonade

I have to say that if I'm going to get up at 5AM, I'm going to find a way to enjoy it.

I gather up myself and Rack, my McNab Dog, and we go for a walk around town.  I've got a course set up, or rather a couple of measured courses in mind.  Like you, I tend to repeat my motions.  Why not?  Wilton Manors, Florida has some rather beautiful areas around.  Even at 5AM there are people out, mostly walking their dogs.

I step out my door, look East to see if the planets are out.  There's one rising in the sky that I believe is Jupiter, although it could be Saturn.  It doesn't matter, it's there, and I know where to look.  I'll find the moon, and all is right with the world.

This morning being the Blood Red Harvest Moon Eclipse, I made sure to look for the moon.  It was low in the Western Skies.   There was a chunk bitten out of the upper left quadrant of it when I walked out into the morning cool.  It made it look vaguely like a corporate logo for a large computer company.  You know the one, Eclipse?  No company named that?  I may be mistaken, excuse me, after all I hadn't had my coffee.

I did make my lap around town and got home noticing that someone had continued munching that green cheese globe in the sky.  It was now roughly half gone.

This was going to be a long lunar eclipse.  59 minutes of totality.  I would see it. 

Standing in my front yard, it hung high enough in the Western sky that it was above the power lines and nearby buildings.  I had a clear view.

I took Rack back inside, got him out of his walking gear, and settled in for a "short hop".  I needed to be back outside in a half hour.  Gave me enough time to get started on my morning routine.  By the time the timer on my phone gave its cock crowing alarm letting me know I was ready, I had made coffee, the dog's breakfast, and a few other things.

Morning routines are routine, but comforting.

Excited at the prospect, I grabbed the camera, spare batteries, and found the tripod.  This was going to be great, right?  Pictures of a rare celestial occurrence?

Walk out to the front yard.  The security lights dim down.  "Oooh!  It's dark out!  Only 6:30am so it should be.", I tell myself, and pop open the tripod.

Screwing the camera to the base, I find the moon.   It's very dim.  Barely visible.  I'm disappointed because I realize that the clouds have returned.  It's a red blob filtered by low clouds out West in the OTP areas.  Over The Turnpike.  Suburbia.

BLAH.  I'm being handed a lemon.  Blood red lemon.  No pictures of that from my little camera happening today!

I squeeze off a few pictures and realize that the real beauty was being overlooked.  Turning around I notice a spectacular sunrise.  Oranges, reds, blues, and deep violet.  The clouds were underlit by a sun that had risen over the ocean out in the neighboring Bahamas.  It had another hour or so to rise here.

I turn around, reset the tripod.  Not getting the view I wanted, I parked myself in the traffic lane of my own residential street.   There was a car approaching slowly from the East.  "He'll go around me", I heard myself say.

Set the 2 second timer, hold for auto focus, one picture done.

Reposition, repeat.

The car is quite close.

Looking up, I see it's one of the police cars for Wilton Manors.

"Mornin'!" I say.  They have to be used to this sort of thing, after all it isn't Plantation or, heaven forbid, Palm Beach where everyone has a stiff set of rules to conform to.

Yes, I'm out in the middle of the street in the tail end of the night, hovering over a small camera on a too short tripod taking pictures.  This is the sort of thing that happens in your neighborhood right?

Beauty happens everywhere, even in places with "rules".  I go back to taking pictures, the officer continued on his way with not even a grunt.  They know me anyway, I'm "Local Color" now.  They usually ask "Where's the dog" when I'm out on my own.

I squeeze off a few more shots and head on indoors.  It was a beautiful morning to make lemonade in the middle of the street.   If the lemon is that you can't take a picture of an eclipse, the sunrise might just be the lemonade.

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