Supermoon over Cochrane

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, November 17, 2016

The supermoon over Cochrane just before dawn on Nov. 14 revealed its special splendour culminating in lines from “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
Photos by Warren Harbeck

The mountains were just beginning to glow in the pre-dawn light as my grandson, Thomas, and I parked along the access road into GlenEagles this past Monday and readied our camera with its great telephoto lens. This was the morning of the much-anticipated supermoon at its best, and we came equipped to celebrate it.

This rare co-occurrence of the full moon within hours of its closest approach in its elliptical orbit around Earth was the first in nearly 70 years. True, according to Sky & Telescope magazine, it was only 14% larger and about 30% brighter than the full moon last April, when it was at its furthest point from Earth. But wow, was it worth getting up early for!

We had actually hoped to catch Supermoon as it set behind the peaks, but wouldn’t you know it; there were clouds on the horizon. Far from being an annoyance, however, they became part of the unfolding melody of the moment.

But as they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so I’m actually going to give you 3,000 words worth of images this week.

The photo at the left captures the view over Cochrane soon after we arrived, about an hour before moonset. Many of the lights decorating our town were in motion; folks were driving to their day’s work.

I intentionally underexposed and increased the contrast on the tightly cropped middle photo to reveal our celestial neighbour’s beauty marks.

But it is the last photo that really says it all. When Supermoon began to disappear behind the clouds, we thought we were done shooting and began pulling away. Just then we noticed that our new friend had one last surprise for us that would leave us with a song in our hearts.

Supermoon emerged between the thumb and the palm of an outstretched hand of clouds and invited us to join in singing its favourite verse from that old spiritual:

He's got the sun and the moon in His hands
He's got the sun and the moon in His hands
He's got the sun and the moon in His hands
He’s got the whole world in His hands.


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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