Eclipse at White Sands / Alamogordo, NM

Summer is coming to southern New Mexico.  It was 94­° at 5:30 P.M. when I headed to the desert to for the annular solar eclipse late this afternoon.  I can only imagine what August will be like.

After lathering on the sun screen and stuffing a couple of 94° bottles of water in my backpack, I trudged off across the dunes to find a good place for a shot.  I staked out a place that I felt would have a good foreground to go with the eclipse and waited.......for 1½ hours.  Around 7:30, it began to show itself.

I really needed a little more equipment, a lot more skill and about 100 miles more distance to the north to have gotten this right but here are my efforts on the show this afternoon.  The Alamogordo version was only about a 90% eclipse so the moon, so from my vantage point, it did not go completely through the center of the sun.

And what self respecting desert would be without a camel to celebrate the event?


Desert Moon

I had anticipated the "Super Moon" for May 5, quite a while.  It was supposed to be 14% larger than any other full moons.  That sounds pretty big but someone else said it's like comparing a 15 inch pizza to a 16 inch pizza; yes it's bigger but if they aren't side by side, you don't really notice.

Friday evening, I went out to White Sands again to scout out where I thought may be a good place for a moon shot.  It's really a amazing place and I can find something fascinating there each time I visit.

Early in the afternoon, before the sun had even set, the moon rose in the east over the mountains.  Even though it wasn't completely full, it proved spectacular.  Saturday came and in the afternoon,  clouds began to appear.  I kept grumbling in my head, "Oh, no!...clouds won't help much in the full moon photography department."

I, along with half the state of New Mexico began filling the park and as the sun began to set, I roamed around on the dunes looking for a spot where I could get a clear shot without the added benefit of a hundred people in my frame.  That's if the moon showed itself.  The winds had swept the dunes causing ripples in the sand and building berms against the roots and plant life.

Finally, just after 8:00 p.m., the moon lazily peaked out between the some clouds.  It never really presented itself with clarity but that's the chances you take when you have no control over the elements.  I hung around another 30 minutes attempting some clear shots but around 8:45, I folded my tripod, made my way back to the car and exited before the rangers chased me out.