Instead of always gazing around the garden, there are those special times when it’s handy to gaze out of the garden. As a landscape designer and contractor, I’ve become habituated to getting up very early in the morning so I can be on site for those 6 o’clock plant pick-ups and early morning installations. So, even though it is a Saturday without any outdoor work scheduled, it was easy to nip outdoors to check out the full lunar eclipse viewable in the early hours of darkness in Southern California.
Knowing my garden — even at night after the solar lights have dimmed to sleep — made it easy to comfortably traipse outside to go eclipse hunting in the dark of 4:45 A.M. What I hadn’t counted on was how many trees my neighbors had to obstruct the view. But I finally found a perfect break in the trees where I could take my photos. The earliest parts of the eclipse are not much to see other than a shadowy hazing of the top of the moon. But by 5:30 AM there was a decided chomp missing right down into the middle of the familiar solar lamp in the sky.
The next thing I hadn’t considered was that my little hand-held digital camera would be useless for this kind of photography as witnessed by the photos here. But I wouldn’t figure that out until I downloaded the pictures — being the genuinely amateur photographer that I am.
The third surprise was when I returned outdoors at 6 A.M. just as the eastern horizon began to pearl with sunrise in hope of getting a good shot of a considerably eclipsed moon. Instead, the moon was gone altogether. I live in a higher elevation of inland Southern California and my garden is surrounded by decorative hills and mountain peaks. By now the moon had sunk down behind one of those scenic mounds making my view of the eclipse nonexistent.
Well, at least I did see some of the highly publicized total eclipse of the moon this morning. And instead of being able to share it with you from my garden, I can only share this story of my aborted effort and the conclusion that I’d be best sticking to designing landscapes and writing about gardening. And leave the photography of heavenly bodies to the experts.
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