I got up early this morning—5:41 a.m. according to the bedside clock. Why? I have no good excuse except that I'd awakened a minute or two before and knew instantly that—like it or not—I was done sleeping for the night. So I figured I might as well haul it out. Moreover, a cup of coffee sounded mighty good.
We keep our coffee maker in the great room, atop a low, hundred-year-old chest-of-drawers that acts as a sort of buffet. The chest belonged to Myladylove's grandparents, and isn't so much a valuable antique as it is simply an old piece is handmade furniture with a family history. Moon-the-Dog chewed one of the lower drawer knobs soon after we brought it here. This was totally out of character for her, because one of the things she doesn't ever do is gnaw on the furniture. Apparently it was her way of welcoming the chest home, since she's never shown the slightest inclination to chew it again.
The great room takes up the entire riverside end of the cottage. The cathedral ceiling is about 15-feet high and the wall which faces the stream is mostly windows. The lower windows have blinds, but a pair of triangular-shaped windows up near the peak are uncovered. When I shuffled into the great room on my way to the coffee maker, the first thing I saw was a big fat moon shining in through those high windows. It's silvery light was bright enough that I didn't have to turn any other light on while making my coffee.
I've recently read news reports which call this a "super moon," as it will look bigger and brighter than other full moons. That's because this time around, the full moon—which occurs tonight—will be closer to earth than at any time since March 1993. Astronomers say tonight the moon will look 30-percent brighter and 15-percent larger than it normally does. It looked pretty bright this morning shining through my windows.
A few minutes later, steaming mug of fresh-ground coffee in hand, I stepped onto the deck for a look around. Not that there was much to see, it still being dark. Too early, even, for a pre-dawn robin to be singing. But the rotund moon was still shining like a platinum beacon in the west as it slipped toward the horizon. Its waning light played in the waves and swirls of the riffle.
I retrieved my camera and made a couple of shots. Moon shots are rather easy since a proper moon exposure is calculated off the brightness of sunlight and the ISO. Remember, the moon is being lit by the sun. (At ISO 400, a 500th at f/8 is about right.) But capturing the moonlight in the riffle was more problematic, even with the ISO cranked to 1400. I knew it would at least require an exposure of several seconds. There wasn't time to set up a tripod so I put the camera on automatic, braced it against the cottage's stone wall…and hoped. Not a crisp or particularly interesting shot, but maybe good enough to give you an idea of my view. And about the best I could manage on a partial cup of coffee.