The Lunar Eclipse from Garnet Peak

Late in September a lunar eclipse coincided with the “supermoon” into an interesting celestial event. Here on the US west coast, we were gifted with excellent timing since the moon rose partially eclipsed and then went all red as it moved up higher into the darkening sky.

My friend Joe and I drove up to the Laguna Mountains to the east of San Diego and had picked Garnet Peak as our destination to observe the thing. Garnet Peak is one of the more exposed peaks along the Pacific Crest, with a steep drop into the desert and then “nothing” for miles that would be in the way to obstruct the views to the east, where the moon would rise.

Strange enough though – other people had the same idea! Who would have thought that? Garnet Peak was a zoo. So many people there, and the funniest and weirdest conversations, like “Where should I move if I wanted to grow my own weed?” and “Those lights in the distance are probably Niland. That’s an awful place!” – we watched the moon rise and tried to ignore it.

Partially eclipsed moon over the desert -- Garnet Peak, Laguna Mountains, California, United States
The moon rises partially eclipsed over the desert — seen from Garnet Peak, Laguna Mountains, CA. September 2015.

I have to admit that lunar eclipses do not impress me too much. The moon passes through the earth’s shadow and because of all the stray light, it just gets a red tint. Apparently, that worked for Christoper Columbus 500 years ago (who was a real dick apparently when he played Jamaican natives to provide him with food). :-)

I also made this photo of the moon itself with my telezoom lens at 300mm, briefly thinking “maybe I’ll do a composite?” but I quickly abandoned the idea. So many people have done this and shown their excellent results, I decided to simply keep my photos as they are (except for some developing in the digital darkroom of course).

Blood Moon seen from Garnet Peak, Laguna Mountains, CA. September 2015.
Blood Moon — seen from Garnet Peak, Laguna Mountains, CA. September 2015.

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