June Moon

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It was all the more impressive because we had not expected it, and saw it all at once just as it was half-way up over the horizon. As you’ve heard me say, a far horizon is not one of our ameneties tucked down in the valley as we are.

We had been out for a rare night on the town and dropped by to visits friends for coffee. And from their place perched wonderfully on a hill with a commanding view during the day came their equally awesome night view.

I pulled out the camera. There was no time for the tripod. Have you ever watched the moon relative to the horizon or trees or buildings and seen how FAST it moves under magnification! So while this is the absolute best shot in the world, it serves as reminder of the moment, and I don’t think it’s terribly bad for a handheld shot (at 200mm with the repaired lens!)

But why did it seem so huge (not to mention ORANGE)? We’re not sure. But NASA has some ideas. This info might come in handy when your children put you on the spot to explain why the moon is swollen.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Very interesting! My son and daughter-in-law were telling us about Saturday evening’s moon they saw as they headed back home over Afton Mountain. She said it was unbelievably HUGE. Thank you for including the NASA link. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it – so I’m glad to see your photo of it.

  2. Beautiful moon!

    So glad they were able to repair your lens. Sure seems to be as good as new. Because of your dropped lens experience, I’m being extremely careful not to do the same thing.

  3. Beautiful! I remember driving home alone one night after playing bridge, about 30 years ago. The moon was just like this; so low, so big and so orange/red that I got scared the world was coming to an end….LOL

  4. Beautiful shot! I once saw a moon like this while driving home, having had to leave my husband in a distant hospital not knowing if he would ever recover from a lengthy and serious illness.

    The sight of that big orange moon somehow assured me he would be well again. And he was. And is.