A photographer friend recently turned me on to The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) app, which is a fabulous resource for outdoor and landscape photography. You input a location and date, and it calculates the angles of the sun and moon relative to the location so you can plan photo shoots based on natural lighting. I had a few moonrise locations in mind and consulted TPE early in the day to determine whether conditions would be favorable. I visited one nearby spot that required a brief, steep hike and - knowing exactly where the moon would rise - realized some trees might obstruct the view. I also decided the location was too perilous to attempt at night.
My second location was a 45-minute drive into the Adirondacks, and although I was disappointed that the closer location wouldn't work out, I was grateful to know this ahead of time! A third option was to appreciate the moonrise from our dock, but I was in caught up in "YES" energy again and committed to following wherever it led - and it definitely was leading me to a new landscape involving water. I was determined to take full advantage of the beautiful, clear-sky, summer night! Besides, I had photographed from the dock the night before (and captured the moon's reflection on the water).
Since I would be alone, I needed to choose a safe location. Having consulted TPE, I decided on a small beach park on the shore of Lake George in Bolton Landing, with mountains in the background.
Although I traveled solo, an older couple was at the gazebo when I arrived, and when they left, another older couple arrived for the moonrise. From watching local news on TV, they knew what time the moonrise was supposed to occur but didn't factor in how our altitude (relative to the altitude of the mountains standing between the moon and us) affected the timing. This is something TPE calculates, so I knew to figure another half hour for the moon to rise above the mountains. In the meantime, we watched a steamboat go by.
The atmosphere on board sounded like a party!
A few minutes before we saw the first, orange glint of moon on top of the mountain, several other people arrived - all eager to see the moon. I was in good company, and everyone seemed a bit giddy with anticipation.
As it floated higher into the sky above the mountains, the orange hue faded against a darkened sky, and a chain of moonlight was cast across the lake. Moonrise, part two.
The shimmering light was mesmerizing, and lots of people were boating under the moonlight!
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The drive home was sheer delight, with the moon beside me the whole way. When I got home, I transferred my photos to my laptop and shared one image via social media, along with many other people. It was a night when all eyes and many cameras were focused skyward. And how wonderful that so many people paused to notice and appreciate something beautiful that can be seen by everyone on the planet (as long as weather permits). It makes the world feel smaller. People gather in person and share online, and you can feel the collective energy, much like group meditation. Although I usually meditate on my own, when I do meditate with others, it's a completely different experience. I feel so supported and elevated by the energy of others. I loved spending an evening connected with others, near and far, who were moved by the same moon that was shining in my own back yard.
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