Once again, the moon has disappointed me. I suppose it’s my own fault. I lost track of when the full moon would occur this month. I discovered this when we were walking home from dinner and I looked up and there it was, high in the sky shining brightly the way only a full moon can.
I thought, “No worries, it will still look full tomorrow night.” I googled the moonrise time for the following evening. I put it on my calendar. I got out my camera, put on the 1.4x extender and my 100-400mm lens. In plenty of time to get setup, I walked to the common room and setup my tripod and camera on the balcony. Then, I waited.
Now, I was mentally prepared for the moon to be late. I have enough experience with this now to know I can’t expect the moon to appear over the high ridge in front of me at the same time it crosses the horizon at sea level. What I couldn’t remember was just how late it usually is. I thought about the last time I was parked in the cold wind waiting on the moon. Was it 20 minutes after official moonrise time? Or was it 30? Maybe it was even 45?
Had I been thinking, I might have looked up my last moonrise post to see how late it was. According to that post, it was over 30 minutes late. I can’t think of any reason why it would be more or less late at various times of the year if it’s rising behind the same ridge, shouldn’t it rise with the same lateness?
In any case, since I wasn’t thinking, I stood on that cold balcony in a blustery wind waiting. And while I was waiting, I kept imagining I saw the moon. In particular, the house in the image above reflected light in such a way that every time I scanned the ridge, I thought, “there it is!” I ended up with about 10 pictures of this house during the hour I waited on the moon.
By the time it was an hour past moonrise, I figured it was time to call it quits. I was tired of jogging in place to keep the blood flowing to my toes. My nose was also running–like it was training for a marathon. I took one last look at all the visible sky and saw no sign that the moon was anywhere to be found. Not even a bright spot in the clouds.
I guess this is a case where even the best-laid plans go awry. On the other hand, the best-laid plan might have been to check the weather forecast before the full moon and to decide to shoot a night earlier when the moon was truly full and the sky was clear. But, I would have had to miss dinner with good friends to do that.
As my best friend reminded me, there will be plenty of moonrises in the future.