The Moon and Pikes Peak – June 2012

It seems June of each year presents interesting opportunities to photograph the moon, and this year is no different.

The morning of June 5, 2012 . . . this was shot from a pull-out on County Line Road, about a quarter of a mile from my house.
The morning of June 5, 2012 . . . this was shot from a pull-out on County Line Road, about a quarter of a mile from my house.

The dawn was just breaking, and giving the sky a neat appearance.  Some of that can be attributed to the clouds.

This shot is facing East, with Bald Mountain providing the silhouette from which the sun would make its dramatic entrance.
This shot is facing East, with Bald Mountain providing the silhouette from which the sun would make its dramatic entrance.

The interesting thing is that the Eastern sky was mostly yellow, but the Western view was awash with reds.

The moon is slightly veiled by the foreground clouds, but I thought that made it interesting.
The moon is slightly veiled by the foreground clouds, but I thought that made it interesting.
Even more so when one includes the Front Range mountains in the shot.  I think this part of the Front Range is named the Rampart Range.
Even more so when one includes the Front Range mountains in the shot. I think this part of the Front Range is named the Rampart Range.

The Front Range runs from Pueblo, Colorado, to Casper, Wyoming, and it is the first set of mountains one encounters before smacking into the Rockies.  I-25 flows North and South along the Front Range, and is typically infested with mediocre-to-poor drivers who habitually make driving the route an annoying and sometime dangerous endeavor.

Down in Colorado Springs, another interesting sight presented itself . . .

Pikes Peak was also trying to offer the moon a hiding place from the brightness of the coming day.
Pikes Peak was also trying to offer the moon a hiding place from the brightness of the coming day.

The interesting thing was the cotton-cloud sitting atop The Peak.

Not the typical view of The Peak.
Not the typical view of The Peak.

If there are clouds about they are typically storm clouds, and are seen vaulting over Pikes Peak to angrily descend over the foothills and onto the hapless plains below.  These clouds were parked there, like sleeping dragons draped over the jagged mountain side.

. . . they kind-of begged to be turned into a panorama

I think this is a 5 or 6 shots panorama.
I think this is a 5 or 6 shots panorama.

The lighting was still strange, with the Western view tending toward the reddish, and the Eastern view tending toward the bright yellow.

I turned around and snapped this shot of the sun coming up behind a tree.
I turned around and snapped this shot of the sun coming up behind a tree.
I was hoping there would be a repeat of the moon touching down on the Peak, but it was still way up, and dropping slow.
I was hoping there would be a repeat of the moon touching down on the Peak, but it was still way up, and dropping slow.

The conditions were nearly the same as documented in THIS POST.

. . . but it was obvious the moon would drop behind the clouds long before setting behind Pikes Peak.
. . . but it was obvious the moon would drop behind the clouds long before setting behind Pikes Peak.

So, I hopped on my car, and resumed the condemned-to-work-drive toward Woodland Park.

Just before heading up Ute Pass I stopped to capture one more shot of the cotton-cloud sheltering the top of Pikes Peak from the morning sun.
Just before heading up Ute Pass I stopped to capture one more shot of the cotton-cloud sheltering the top of Pikes Peak from the morning sun.

The next morning, June 6th,  the clouds were gone, and a bright moon just hung up there, begging to be photographed.

It's been a while since I shot the moon . . . mostly because I'm out of shape.
It’s been a while since I shot the moon . . . mostly because I’m out of shape.
These kind of shots are only possible when the moon is low in the horizon, and the air is fairly still and clear.
These kind of shots are only possible when the moon is low in the horizon, and the air is fairly still and clear.

These shots look better in SmugMug, but I suppose these are OK as well.

It also helps that the humidity was in the single digits.  Less moisture in the air lets my 80-400mm lens do its thing with minimum disotrtion.
It also helps that the humidity was in the single digits. Less moisture in the air lets my 80-400mm lens do its thing with minimum disotrtion.

The above shots were taken from the same pull-out I mentioned above.  This was a bit earlier then the previous day, and the dawn was still trying to fracture the night’s dark skies.

By the time I was on Ute Pass the sky had lightened considerably . . . but the moon still fought to keep from becoming nothing more than a brighter-then-normal smudge in the vastness of the empty sky.
By the time I was on Ute Pass the sky had lightened considerably . . . but the moon still fought to keep from becoming nothing more than a brighter-then-normal smudge in the vastness of the empty sky.
It would have been nice to set up a tripod shot, and get everything in sharp focus . . . but no; time is unforgiving, and hand-shooting was all that it allowed.
It would have been nice to set up a tripod shot, and get everything in sharp focus . . . but no; time is unforgiving, and hand-shooting was all that it allowed.
Once through the pass, and near Woodland Park, the hills were still hidden from the rays of the morning sun.
Once through the pass, and near Woodland Park, the hills were still hidden from the rays of the morning sun.

I saw an opportunity further up the road.

I might have missed the moon setting the previous day, but I had a good view this time around.
I might have missed the moon setting the previous day, but I had a good view this time around.
The trees were about to ensnare the moon as it traveled along its prescribed path.
The trees were about to ensnare the moon as it traveled along its prescribed path.

The above is a short slideshow comprised from about a third of the shots I took while the moon raced to hide behind the trees.  I had planned in using all 40+ shots, but Photoshop choked my computer.   I should have shot a proper movie.

Here is the last shot of the series.  Not all that impressive on its own, but a good closing photograph for this post.
Here is the last shot of the series. Not all that impressive on its own, but a good closing photograph for this post.

Once again, the SmugMug gallery can be reached by clicking HERE.

Thanks for visiting, reading my narrative, and looking at my photos.

<><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><>

About awards: Blogger Awards          About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.