Super moon and much more to come

We traveled to Bozeman, Montana to celebrate our youngest grand daughter’s first birthday last Friday and Saturday.  This is a BIG story that deserves to be told in a proper way.  Since we spent 12 hours on the road yesterday driving home I have many photos to edit and prepare for sharing.  The birthday story and photos will come soon.

I did not want to lose any more momentum on the “super moon” theme though so I processed a few frames from our experience.  A short story to go along with this photo.

Friday night we were seated at the dining room table in the house we had rented between Bozeman and Belgrade, MT.  We’d had a great family day involving both or our sons, 2 grand daughters who share May 4 as a birthday, one daughter-in-law, my 97 year old Mother and my sister.  The word “wonderful” keeps coming up as the most appropriate adjective for that day.  We were just sitting and talking when Chad pointed out the window and noted that the full moon was outside.  I turned around and jumped up from the table to grab the camera and tripod.  About a half hour later I rejoined the table group. I knew that the super moon was coming but, honestly, family was THE priority… until I saw the moon outside.  Luckily, my family understands me and tolerates my camera habit.  I shot several versions of the moon rising near some trees in the front yard.  Not ideal but better than nothing.

Saturday was the big birthday party at the rental house.  After the crowd thinned down it was back to our family members at the onset of dusk.  I really wanted to get a shot of the true “super moon” with snow capped mountains in the foreground.  Derek and I jumped in the car and headed toward Bozeman and a higher elevation viewing spot in a neighborhood.  We cruised the development looking for the best vantage and ended up back at the main road.  I checked The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) on my phone and found that the moon would rise further down the ridge than what I wanted but I was committed to the spot and didn’t know of another, better place.

As Derek and I settled in to wait for the moon to rise a truck drove past us and turned around, came back and parked by us.  Now it was me, Derek and Chad sitting and waiting for a moon to rise.  Frankly, my evening was complete before the moon showed.  Having the opportunity to be with both of my sons when they were relaxed and able to just sit and talk without any distractions of work or, pardon me, family, was a great moment.  We watched and enjoyed the stares we got from passing motorists who must have thought we had some wildlife sighting or such.  I kept visiting the camera on the other side of the road to check exposure and framing but my heart was with the guys sitting on the tailgate of Chad’s truck.  This is the type of experience that reinforces how fortunate we are.

The guys were torn by being there or back at the house with their grandmother and mother  though.  They took off to return to the house but I hung in there for another 20 minutes until saw the moon rise right where TPE said it would… behind a cloud and way too far away from any suitable composition.  I flamed out on the whole shoot.  Such is life.

Yesterday morning we woke early for the long drive home.  Derek and Gina were traveling in their car and Dianne and I in ours but we had a few minutes over coffee and cereal as the new day began.  Of course the Super Moon was setting in the west over what I think is the Madison Range.  The camera and tripod came back out of the car and I set up on the back porch of the rental house.  My hope was that the moon would set over the snow capped peaks but I shot it for about 30 minutes as it came into the frame with the mountain range.  Of the shots there are two that stand out for me.  Of the two, this is my favorite.  The Super Moon, snow capped mountains and a weekend of totally rewarding family immersion filled me with thoughts and warm feelings as we packed and drove away.


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