I Just Wanted to Shoot the Moon

super-moon-nov-15This week, thanks to the presence of a super moon, millions of people have taken an interest in the night sky. Like Kardashians armed with smartphones, the world has been snapping pictures and posting their “moonies” on social media. And I, refused to be left out.

This grand  moon made its debut on Sunday, November, 13th and I captured a few shots in downtown Custer. Some of them were even worthy of being shared on Facebook. I was eager see it again the next evening, because the according to the Weather Channel, it was going to be super-duper.

I planned to drive to Stockade Lake for pictures on Monday, but Mother Nature tossed a blanket of clouds over the southern hills. Not only was there no super moon – there was no moon. Period.  Maybe I’ll try again in 18 years, when the next one comes around.

On Tuesday evening, as I was picking through a bag of frozen cherries, my husband called to say, “Your moon is back.” I wiped my sticky hands on a towel, grabbed my camera and pointed my Jeep east. The moon was low and large, giving the illusion that I was driving right up to it. Highway 16 was void of traffic so I hurried along – just over the speed limit. Well, it was more like driving at the speed of sound, but whatever.

I could see the Stockade turnoff just ahead and as I reached for my turn signal, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw flashing lights. Now, let me explain, that sometimes, by brain doesn’t register the obvious. I literally said “Huh” as I thought, Pretty. But it’s kind of early for Christmas lights. Turns out, I was not being chased by a giant Christmas tree, and as I pulled over, I practiced saying all my bad words. In a row. Out loud.

Moments later, a deputy was staring at me, but before he could speak, I said, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I’m a horrible person.” But it didn’t come out in my normal voice. It came out as the voice of someone who had just committed an unspeakable crime.

And I couldn’t shut up. “I have nothing. No wallet, no license, no ID, no nothing. I just grabbed my camera and ran.”

Then he raised his eyebrows, and asked “What are you doing?”

“I just wanted to get here before the moon wasn’t super anymore.”

He continued to stare, you know, like a dog does when they hear a funny noise. “You want to take pictures of the moon?”

“I was trying to hurry because the later it gets, the smaller the moon will be and … I sound like an idiot don’t I?”

He shined his light onto my passenger seat where my camera gear sat. Thankfully, he didn’t notice my hands which were stained with dark, cherry juice. Which, in the dark probably looked a lot like dried blood.

“Is this vehicle even registered to you?”


“What is your name.”

“Ann Morrow.”  I answered.

“And where, exactly, are you going?”

I pointed to the dirt road ahead. “Oh, just around the corner, there.”

Then he blinked. And I think maybe he was hypnotized by the moon, because what happened next was a miracle. He sighed, (or maybe it was a groan) gestured toward the road with both hands and said “Just go.”  Then turned and walked back to his car.

I leaned out the window, “Thank you. I promise drive slow on the way home. And for the rest of my life.” Which was a lie, but I was very happy to be driving away and not staring down at a giant speeding ticket.

Seconds later, I was parked lakeside, where the moon hovered over the treetops and water.  I raised my camera and focused on the scene before me. Then I stood in the dark and practiced all my bad words again. When I pressed the shutter button, my camera beeped, froze, then shut itself off.

What would the Kardashians do? I slipped my iPhone out of my pocket, snapped a few dozen “moonies”, and immediately shared them on Instagram. Hopefully, by 2034, I’ll have this photography thing figured out.