July 3, 2015
I’m back in Sansum Narrows as a guest of Joan and Aubrey Cobham. They invited me to spend two nights in their off-the-grid cabin on Vancouver Island that looks across the Narrows to Bold Bluff and majestic Mt. Maxwell with its perpendicular stone cliffs rising high above the blue sea bay. From the Cobham’s cabin I see the old growth fir tree under which I sat for many hours and weeks, photographing the abundant wildlife that gathered on the rocks at low tide.
Aubrey met me in the heat of the day at the Burgoyne Bay Wharf, and we loaded up his Silverstreak boat with my camera gear, food and extra clothing plus my Toy Poodle, Zuri. It was heaven returning to the Narrows where I had spent 20 years without a road, and I was once again filled with awe at how undeveloped this area is, and how abundantly green and it is only 20 minutes from the heart of our island village where you feel the bustle of village life.
After a yummy chicken and garden salad supper, we began guessing where Mistress Moon would rise, and when. We knew she rose about 8:30 pm on the horizon, but we were flanked by mountains, and thought she might show her face around 10 pm.
I set up my tripod and camera on their open deck, and waited for the glimmer of light to shroud the shaggy black night fir trees on top of Mt. Sullivan, announcing her presence.
I waited, and waited. Joan and Aubrey went to bed. I waited and dozed off, opening my eyes every once in awhile to peek to see if she were coming. Nope. Then I dozed off again. About 15 minutes to midnight, I opened my eyes to see the fairy dust glimmer of light sifting over the ragged fir trees.
I stood on guard at the tripod and when she rose snapped pictures. She was brilliant. It is a challenge to get the trees in focus and the moon’s craters, too.
This July is a Blue Moon month, when two full moons will appear. I’ll be back in the Narrows for another photo shoot.
Moonrise over Saltspring Island
We are in for a rare occurrence in North America, where 4 total lunar eclipses can be seen every 6 months for the next two years. This is called a tetrad. So, on Monday night we on Salt Spring Island were anticipating watching it. Alas! We had nothing but heavy clouds and wind.
Many islanders gave up and went to bed. Being passionate and stubborn, I decided to set my alarm every 1/2 hour, taking peeks outside – just in CASE the wind had swept the clouds away. At 1:15 AM I thought, “This is the last. If the Moon is not visible, I am going to pack it in for the night”.
Well, there she was in all her glory, just emerging from being blood red in the total eclipse. I took photos of her for the next two hours, watching her gradually get brighter and brighter.
I hope you enjoy a few of these photos.
Lunar Eclipse Emerging out of total
Lunar Eclipse 1:20 AM April 15
Lunar Eclipse April 15
Lunar Eclipse Almost back to Full Moon
Moon of the Frog Chorus – March 7, 2012
My neighbours, Joan and Aubrey Cobham, invited me to photograph the rising full moon over Burgoyne Bay and Mt. Maxwell. Since none of us have roads to our homes, I took my boat and Shepadoodle dog, Daisy with my tripod and camera to their home across Sansum Narrows. It was a spectacular evening – and cold. We waited for the golden moon to rise over the mountain while dining on hot chilli and home-made corn bread.
Sure enough, a golden glimmer appeared in the clouds, announcing the appearance of Mistress Moon. Dashing outside, I hunkered down with my camera and watched in awe as this moody moon rose over the shaggy fir trees, lighting up the swiftly changing clouds. The moon actually rose over my own home, Bold Bluff, and not over Burgoyne Bay.
Thoroughly satisfied, I drove the boat home in the dark with a golden river of light spilling over the ocean. I was up at 1 am and again at 5 am to photograph this glorious moon when it was totally full, and when it was setting over Vancouver Island. It is always a surprise what you will get when attempting to take photos of the full moon. Often it is raining, or cloudy, but you must get up anyway to peek outside or you might miss something spectacular.
Has anyone heard the frogs sing yet? We have lots of robins back, eating yummy worms.
Yesterday I woke up at 5 am with a bright light shining into my bedroom. I thought it was the moon, and jumped out of bed with my shepadoodle dog, Daisy, at my heels. It was a tug boat plying Sansum Narrows and shining its search light over the landscape. We raced down the boardwalk to check if the moon was out, and found it stupendous, one day short of full. It hung low in an indigo sky and soon was to sink behind Vancouver Island.
I fetched my camera and tripod, and brought it to the boardwalk to watch and photograph the bright moon which set at 5:45 am.
Waxing Frost Moon Sets over Vancouver Island
Today I woke at 6:30 am and just missed the full February moon setting over Vancouver Island. Tomorrow, rain is forecast, so it looks as if I have missed the real full moon setting this month. It is challenging to get photos of the full moon setting every month due to rain, snow, fog – and pure sleeping in too late.
December 10, 2011
I was prepared to photograph the total lunar eclipse early morning December 10th. Friends spent the night with me, drumming to the moon. It was bright and clear early in the morning, and I got a few photos at 1:30 am. We were excited. Setting the alarm for 4 am, the moon had disappeared behind a blanket of clouds. Up at 5:30 am – no moon! Up at 6:30 am, when the moon was in total eclipse, and still no visible moon. I hope some of you got to see the eclipse!
Photographing the moon and nature takes patience, fortitude, luck, anticipating opportunities, being in the right place at the right time, and above all, passion. Another important ingredient is having good equipment. Be open to the gifts that come your way. Life is full of surprises.
Cold Moon – Eclipse Moon Rising
Cold Moon Over Vancouver Island