A couple of weeks ago a photographer friend and I decided to go to the Shenandoah National Park to photograph the harvest moon on October 29th. We picked out a perfect location that would afford us an eastern view of the moon, which is huge and orange in the autumn. We also knew that at this same location we could see the sunset to the west. So, this morning the forecasts of Hurricane Sandy, the Frankenstorm, made us change our plans to the day before the actual full moon. That way when the rains hit Virginia, we will have our images and be safely at home. We arrived at the designated location before 5pm, ready to watch the huge moon rise up over the eastern ridges. Not being quite ready for cold weather, we elected to sit in the warmth of the car awaiting the glorious event. A couple of quick shots before huddling in the heat told us not to be too optimistic.
In about forty-five minutes, when the moon was expected to emerge, the fog dropped on us. Literally. It wasn’t there, and then it was! We gave up. But not before documenting our efforts to photograph the Harvest Moon in the Park. What you are seeing as huge spots of dirt in the sky are rain drops all over the lens.
I thought about several things as I drove home. I imagined what it must have been like 100 years ago when people lived in those mountains. Rainstorms in the Park are not rare, and fog often envelopes everything. But now we have roads, yellow lines to guide us through the fog and rock walls to stop us from toppling down the mountain. I also thought that it looked a lot like Halloween with the eerie shapes emerging from the woods. I am completely sure I saw Sasquatch just off the road as I hastened back to safety in the flat lands below.