Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moon & Mine Shafts

I tried taking pictures of the moon on Sunday night with my Kodak camera.

I wanted to take the pictures just as the moon was rising over the horizon.   Moonrise was to be at 9:06 pm.   But as I soon discovered is that I am surrounded by houses and very tall trees.    So I had to wait until almost 9:30pm for the moon to get high enough to clear the trees.   The moon had a very deep yellow color as well as red areas to it.

Isn’t this a weird picture of the moon?   The surface of the moon looks like the turbulent surface of the sun.    But at least I can see the mares of the moon somewhat.
This is how the moon appeared on my camera, small.
The first thing that I had to do after downloading the pictures to the computer was to enlarge it.
Then I darkened the picture and hit it with just a little increased contrast
Then I changed the color image to a black and white image.   And I added just a tad of brightness and a dash of contrast for the final image.
Not bad considering the camera that I had.
On Saturday night the light of the moon was so intense that I could see quite easily outside in the moonlight.   It reminded me of a story which goes like this:   Once, a long time ago in a far off land a friend came to visit me, Chuck.    I was living in Phoenix, Arizona.   I was working at the hospital and going to college at the same time.
This is Chuck sitting on the couch with me as I was trying to study.   Chuck is the slender one and I am the one with the glazed, tired, exhausted look on his face.   I spent weekends right here studying for college.   I worked 62 hours a week at the hospital working nights and going to college during the day.   At times I got exhausted like in this picture but I had the energy of youth which helped to keep me going.
I had told Chuck about my adventures exploring old mine shafts.  
Here I am standing next to an old mine.   Yeah, I know that they are very dangerous to go into.   But back then I was young and foolish.

Just look how dark it is down in the mine shaft.    Well, Chuck wanted to explore an old mine shaft.   I told him that it was late but that we could go down in the mine shafts at night.   My rationale was that since it was pitch black down in the mine it didn't matter whether it was light or dark at the surface of the mine.   So off we went.   I took him to an old abandoned mine called Octave which was north of Phoenix in Arizona.    I had been there many times and so I had no trouble driving there at night.   This is an artist painting of what the mine looked in it's heyday.
Well, this is what it looks like today.    Most all of the buildings are gone.  
Such a desolate area.   But the old shafts are still there.   Chuck and I got out our flashlights and started down one of the shafts.    Bats!   Lots of bats!   All flying toward us because we were between the bats and the mine entrance that they wanted to fly out of for their nightly feeding on insects.   We hadn't gotten more than 30 feet into the shaft when there were simply too many bats.   And their flight paths were so erratic.   I had never had problems with bats when I came to the mine during the daytime but somehow the bats knew that it was nighttime.   We had no choice but to retreat back out of the shaft.   By now it was around 10 o'clock at night.   The moon shone so brightly high in the sky that night that we could walk around easily without having to use our flashlight.   In fact, it was so bright that I swear that I could have read a newspaper by the moonlight.   The moonlight was so bright a few days ago that it reminded me of this Arizona desert adventure.   And college?   Yes, I did graduate with my Bachelor's degree.   Plus I have good memories of many other adventures while living in Arizona.   And that is my tale for today.   Drop a line in the comments section and let me know of one of your adventures.   Have a terrific and fun day.    Lew

1 comment:

seaside said...

I wouldn't be so brave as to explore a mine shaft. I would prefer to watch Andy Griffith and Helen Crump get lost in a mine shaft and Barney comes and rescues them. I like what you did with the moon pictures. It brings back memories of the old rocket launches. Watch the men on the moon run,jump and play many years ago. What will happen to all the relics on the moon?