Saturday, June 6, 2015

Strawberry Moon

I've been chasing full moons since last summer, without a lot of photographic success.  When I saw the moon was going to be full on Monday and Tuesday nights, I vowed to try again.  I first chose Monday night because the moonrise was going to be earlier, at 8:20 pm, when there would be more light.  I use a wonderful app called the The Photographer's Ephemeris, or TPE for short.  Not only does TPE give the timing of every moonrise, moonset, sunrise, and sunset, it also gives the angle of the rising and setting from specific locations.  It looked to me that somewhere around the marina was the place to be, so I went there and set up.  Unfortunately, as I waited and waited and waited, the moon rose directly behind me.  How embarrassing to have been reading the app backwards!  So much to learn.

Armed with my tripod, and a better understanding of TPE, I set out for the marina on Tuesday evening for the much anticipated moonrise at 9:20 pm.  I noticed that the sun was going to be setting on the other side of the peninsula at 9:23 pm.  I was hoping to catch some of the afterglow from the sunset at the marina.  While I didn't know exactly where the moon would come up, I set my gear up near the little red-capped gazebo that I so enjoy photographing.  And I was not disappointed with the beautiful rosy sunset afterglow that glazed the whole marina area.

Still not certain exactly where near the marina the moon would rise, I continually scanned the horizon for a first glimpse of the Strawberry Moon.  And there it was, I gasped.  I couldn't have placed it better if I'd been in charge.

The June full moon was named the Strawberry Moon by Native Americans who took its rising as a signal to begin gathering ripening fruit.

In Europe, the June moon is called the Full Rose Moon because strawberries aren't native plants there, but roses are in their full glory then.

A third name for the June full moon is the Honey Moon because it stays closer to the horizon, which gives it a more amber color as it rises.

I wasn't the only moon gazer that night at the marina.  Several people came by to watch the moon rise and snap photos with their phones.  One couple commented that I probably could see the lakes and craters on the moon with my big camera lens.  I think they were right.


  1. Perfection, Karen! Your planning paid off. Actually, I quite like the first photo, too, when the moon rose behind you!

  2. Thanks! Actually, the first photo was taken on the same night as the full moon shots. Because the sunset and the moonrise were so close in time, what you see in the first photo is the afterglow from the sunset on the other side of the peninsula.

  3. Beautiful series, Karen. Your Strawberry Moon seems aptly named, not only because of the time of the year in which it appeared, but because of the pinkish hue in shots 3 and 4. Love the closeup view of the moon in shot 6!

  4. Thanks, Jan. I too noticed how the moon had a pink cast when it first rose, and then as it got higher in the sky, it became more amber.