Flower Moon

Delta Lake State Park

As they say, ‘Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while’, which would describe Thursday morning appropriately. All week I have been going out before work to find a sunrise. Yesterday, as I stepped outside to place the latest recyclables in the bin for collection, I couldn’t help but notice the full moon. My initial plan to head toward Utica for a sunrise was immediately changed to ‘can I capture the moonset?’

Checking the Photographer’s Ephemeris I see that the sun will rise at 5:48am and the moon will set at 6:08am. The best location for the show would be Delta Lake State Park. There were a few clouds in the sky and the moon was beginning to be obscured but working with my new attitude of ‘you have to be in the environment to capture the landscape’, I headed off for the park.

It was a cool, calm morning and being at the water’s edge waiting on the moon was totally worth it. Not another person in sight. I could hear ducks and geese out on the lake and the clouds were moving in the right direction. What a way to start the morning!

The first two images were my view of the lake as I arrived at the park. I knew the moon was out there behind the clouds… be patient, don’t call it a day yet!

Flower Moon I
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 6s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200
Flower Moon II
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 3.2s, 15mm, f/11, ISO 200

I initially setup the camera at the edge of the beach. After standing there for five to ten minutes I realized I wanted to isolate the trees on the point in my composition. I walked around to the right of the beach and found a nice big rock under a tree on the water’s edge. This allowed for a ‘cleaner’ view and would allow the moon to stand out more in the image (when it finally quit hiding in the clouds).

Flower Moon III
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/6s, 36mm, f/11, ISO 200
Flower Moon IV
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/10s, 40mm, f/11, ISO 200

It was after the last capture I realized to truly emphasize the moon I needed a longer lens. Switching to the 40-150mm telephoto lens I was able to bring the moon larger into the image. By the last two images the sun was above the horizon and throwing lots of color into the western sky. It was a great way to end my adventure and I was totally charged for the day ahead of me.

Flower Moon V
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/13s, 85mm, f/11, ISO 200
Flower Moon VI
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/30s, 150mm, f/11, ISO 200

It wasn’t until later in the day that I learned this was the last ‘super moon’ of 2020. I also learned it is called the ‘Flower Moon’. Digging into the name a little more I found you can also call the full moon in May the ‘Corn Planting Moon’, the ‘Hare Moon’, and the ‘Milk Moon’. On the Full Moon Phases website I also picked up this bit of information…

Full Moon names have been used by many cultures to describe the full moon throughout the year. Specifically, Native American tribes used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons by giving a distinctive name to each recurring full moon, including the Wolf Moon. The unique full moon names were used to identify the entire month during which each occurred.

Although many Native American tribes gave distinct names to the full moon, the most well known full moon names come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in the area of New England and westward to Lake Superior. The Algonquin tribes had perhaps the greatest effect on the early European settlers in America, and the settlers adopted the Native American habit of naming the full moons.

5 responses to “Flower Moon

  1. The pictures are fantastic and the write up is excellent. Thanks for taking the time to share your efforts with us! 🙂

  2. Oh my, so glad you got lucky and the moon showed up! Lovely!! We had clouds last night and today, so I didn’t get a second chance, but someday I will!

    • Thanks Dawn. Yeah, rain last night so no moonrise and heavy fog this morning. I’ve been chasing the moon as much as the sun and rarely get good opportunities. Your chance will come..

  3. Pingback: 2020 What a Year | Picture Day

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