Mad in Pursuit Notebook

Lake Ontario 3 AM on Jan 2, 2017, from Ontario NY

Why I keep rushing out to photograph stars

Jan 2, 2017. I woke up at 2:45 a.m. and saw stars through my bedroom window. And my charts had told me that the moon would not rise till mid-morning. I almost turned over, with a plan to stargaze at 5, but no, I got up, put on shoes, threw my coat over my PJs, and hauled my camera rig onto the porch. I was already set up: ISO 1600, exposure 30 sec., f2.8, manual focus on infinity. A 30-second shot takes 30 seconds to process, so 5 shots took me 5 minutes.

Why do I keep rushing out in the middle of the night to take pictures?

One, because I can. I'm a city girl, transplanted to rural Wayne County NY. Not exactly the mountain deserts of Wyoming, but the stars do shine when we aren't blanketed by clouds.

Two, the dark and the chill air are invigorating. Brrr, yeah! I am out here! Awake!

Three, how often does an old lady embark on a mini-adventure with a flashlight in hand? Having a complex set of gear ready to go -- camera settings correct, tripod head level, remote control located -- then executing a plan... what a great way to start a day.

Four, in some mysterious way, it tunes me to the universe. For a few moments, life is de-cluttered. I like responding to the twinkle of stars through my window, letting the unseen hand draw me outside, on its own timetable, when the moon is dark and the sky is cloudless. If the air is dense with moisture on the horizon, lights from Cobourg, Brighton, and Belleville, Canada create a glow, a poor man's aurora. The glowing horizon creates another place, a marker between the distant stars and the wooden planks of my porch, earth and fire between the water and the sky.

My harmony with the universe thus established, I carried my gear back inside, dropped my coat over a chair, slipped out of my shoes, and crawled back into bed next to my sleeping sweetheart.

***


THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.

 

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All pages in this website by Susan Barrett Price are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. [The snowstorm image at the top of this page came from Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons license.]