I get one shot at this. One shot. And I have to get this correct. No do-overs.
So here’s the plan.
The 2021 lunar eclipse will appear on the evening of November 18, 2021, and into the morning of November 19, 2021. The prenumbral eclipse starts at 1:02 a.m., with the partial eclipse beginning at 2:18 a.m. By 4:02 a.m., the moon will achieve its maximum partial eclipse, and the moon will appear blood-red. The sun will rise at 6:52 a.m., which means I can witness the lion’s share of this eclipse.
My original plan was to photograph the moon as it progresses through each eclipse stage. But that would have made my photos look like every other eclipse-like photograph. I want to do better than that.
So I came up with another concept.
What if I could get a photo of the moon as it descends into the horizon – and possibly bisects a road?
Yeah, and why don’t I try solving the infield fly rule while I’m at it?
So first things first. I need to chart where the set into the horizon, and whether I can find a spot where that moonset will intersect with a road.
And after much searching, I found several locations that just might work.
- Spot No. 1 – Corinth, Route 10 off of 9N, heading toward the Corinth Reservoir
- Spot No. 2 – Voorheesville, off 85 and Parkway Drive, heading toward Thatcher Park
- Spot No. 3 – Glenmont, Route 9W and Wemple, facing Wemple with the old dairy barn to my right
- Spot No. 4 – Clinton, on Griffin Road, near my old college campus.
Unfortunately, my efforts have been thwarted by Mother Nature. All four of those locations, every day I’ve checked on various weather apps, are coated with rain and snow and cloud cover. Ugh. And my next chance at a lunar eclipse won’t happen until May 16 of 2022.
So I tried for a longshot.
I looked up North Hudson, way up in the Adirondacks, near the old Frontier Town amusement park and the current Frontier Town campgrounds.
The eclipse would be in mostly cloudy skies by 2:00 a.m., but by 4:00 a.m. – the meat of the eclipse – the skies would be mostly clear.
Okay. Now to find a road that would bisect that would work with my foreground.
Well, there’s parts of Blue Ridge Road that could be useable, as is a section of something called Palmer Pond.
Okay. More research is required.
A phone call to the Department of Environmental Conservation. The person I spoke with referred me to the local park ranger, who in turn recommended various shooting locations and places to park while doing so. “Wear some reflective cloathing,” he said, “because Blue Ridge Road is a logging road, and there are truck drivers who travel at night.”
“You can park at these locations if you need to, just make sure you’re far enough off the shoulder of the road.”
“Get some great photos.”
Yes, sir. And I promise not to leave any pic-a-nic baskets to draw any necktie-wearing bears from hibernation.
Okay. Barring any complications due to Mother Nature, my plan now is to capture the lunar eclipse somewhere in North Hudson. And if I get it … then I’m a happy man.
And if I don’t get it … well, there’s May 2022. The weather will be a bit warmer, for sure … but I’d rather have this eclipse in my pocket, if you know what I mean.