I’d like a Supermoon with a Shot of Blood, please?


Although I didn’t get as close to the moon as I’d have liked to on Sunday – I did get some pretty good shots. What this reminds me of -painfully- is the need to invest in additional good glass for the Rebel – a lens with a zoom capacity which makes you feel like you’re ON the moon.

Unfortunately – the wallet disagrees with this investment, so I’ll have to explore other options.

aIMG_3970For this event, I did some nosing around Waukesha.  I didn’t want to do yet another moon series from the Lakeshore (what can I say…I’m easily bored…) so I settled on a few choice locations within my city and figured I’d make the final decision at the absolute LAST minute just to keep things interesting.

On Sunday afternoon – 4 hours before the event – I’d settled on Minooka park.  It’s on the East edge of the city, with nothing between it and the next town east except some trees – and maybe a farmhouse or 2.  Because it was a huge, tree-y park, there were minimal light sources for maximum darkness.  There was even a little swimming hole I could walk around if I wanted some bloody reflections.

So I drove down to the park, just to scope out the scene.  Might as well claim a good spot while it was still light out, right?

If you pushed the red button with ‘wrong’ written on it – you win bragging rights!!

Wisconsin is weird.  We have all this natural land ‘maintained’ by the State Park System, and they don’t let just anyone wander about in there – you gotta pay for that pleasure, son!  Today – three days later, and I’m still wondering what, exactly, it is that the State is maintaining?  It’s wild freaking land – it pretty much maintains itself…

To make a long story short – as I drove up to the park, I noticed a quaint little toll booth guarding the entry road, with an adorable young fella asking for $7 to get in…unless I wanted the yearly sticker – for $25…  I opted to turn around.

I got spot-blocked 😦

There was some concern. Some slight panic.  Nothing like having your plans change at the quarter-to-ZERO hour…

I spent a bit of time driving around the park.  If I could park off-site, I could hike in.

Hike?  ME????  With a huge bag full of camera gear?????

I can hear ya’ll laughing, yaknow…

Yea – nope.  Not happening.

The next idea had a bit more merit – why not park my butt on the overpass by home? There was a wide swath of grass between the lanes of traffic, it had an east/west direction, and I could capture not just the moon, but some light trails from cars, as well.

Let’s go check it out…

The first concern was where to park the cheep-jeep. The nearest parking areas were, kinda, far away

Read…a walk longer than a block…

but I MIGHT be able to park in Walmart’s lot, and hike across their wide, grassy knoll

eye-roller apology!

Making it to the overpass without breaking a sweat.20150927_154601

As tribute to my burning desire to photograph the blood moon – I plowed across the grass in daylight, getting some interesting pictures before I realized that the terminus between Walmart’s manicured landscaping and the highway overpass contained extremely overgrown grass, thistles, nettles, dead junk trees, and a register-able amount of water.

………20150927_154254 20150927_154753 20150927_155051

I draw the line at requiring a machete and hip-waders to cross terrain!

I settled on a parking spot next to one of the county buildings, and spent the next few hours convincing myself that I COULD walk the rest of the way.

And now – magic time!

At some point between my deciding on the overpass and getting into the cheep-jeep to actually go there, several of the voices in the back of my head decided we didn’t really want the location.  I’m still not sure of the rationale behind it.  Either we didn’t want to walk (very possible), we didn’t want things of Man in the shot (likely), or some other nebulous consideration NOT forwarded to the command center of my brain had made the unconscious decision to turn the vehicle in the opposite direction of the overpass.

I found myself aiming the car downtown while the various factions in my head argued (rather vehemently) over locations.

We had a deal about the last minute thing, guys!!!

One thought some of the downtown buildings might be cool in the foreground.  One sullenly complained about the amount of light pollution bound to be there.  One still wanted to go to the overpass, but was quickly shoved into one of the dark closets in my head…and the lazy one nattered about the Lakeshore.

One demanded frozen custard – to hell with the moon shots!  and Overpass got some company in that closet.

Finally, I told Downtown, Light Pollution and Lakeshore to shut the hell up, let Overpass & Custard out of ta IMG_3861 clean grasshe closet with admonishments to behave themselves, and turned the wheel to my newest greenspace.

Sometimes, ya just gotta put the metaphysical foot down…

Now…I couldn’t use the water, as it was screened by very heavy trees and moving the wrong direction, but the greenspace IS a huge, open, green space with limited light pollution.  And…it was close to my present location so I could get the walk in, set up, and have plenty of time to actually photograph things – which was the goal here.


I even got a picture of me taking a picture of the moon…thanks to the smartphone I was forced to get a few weeks back.


It was perfect.  I had some light, scattered clouds but they left the party early, offering an unobstructed view of the eclipse.



I didn’t even mind getting a wet butt from sitting in the grass.

Not so bad Moon Rising

Tonight is a night of nights.  Tonight, at around quarter to ten my time – the sky will be showcasing a celestial event not seen very often.  A supermoon combined with a full lunar eclipse.

A super bloodmoon.

I’ve been posting reminders to myself on Facebook all week.  I’ve scouted locations (I’m dead tired of going out to the lakeshore) and picked a Waukesha location on the East side which should be open enough and with little light pollution to capture this event.

The big camera is charged and ready to roll.

My Pictures are coming 😀

Terror in the Night


I don’t like to whine about how bad life is.  Whining about the injustices in life, real or imagined, is a waste of energies that could be put to much better use.  Focusing on these negatives is also self-reinforcing.  By paying close attention to all the negativity, you invite more of it to the party.

I’d rather focus on the positives, and have them invite all their friends to join in.

There is also something to be said, however, about sharing those negative experiences.  By exposing internal fears to the world, they lose some of their power over the individual.

Pain shared is halved.  Love shared is doubled.  It’s an interesting and quixotic quirk we humans have developed.

Now, with all that shared out  –  I’ve just survived one of the worst panic attacks in my own personal history.

The kids and I have been fighting fleas pretty much all summer.  That much, we’ve decided, was something we can depend on as a true thing.

But – every time I think we’ve eliminated the little blood-sucking demons – I get new welts, which look like insect bites. **sigh** Time to re-salt the carpets and go for round…damn…I’ve lost count.

Lucky for me, S has very delicate skin.  So much so, that she’s a font of knowledge on how to handle contact dermatitis.  She switched me to a very soothing goat-milk, honey and oatmeal soap (from these guys at Swiss Frau Farm Products – this stuff is beautiful!), forced me on a daily dose of an antihistamine, and insisted on smearing my itchy zones with Eucerin lotion to keep me from scratching myself into a bloody mess.

But I still see the occasional new welt pop up.  I tried going off the pills the other day, and everything got real red & itchy again.  Wish I could figure out what I’m throwing reactions to – I’d remove it, and kill it with fire if necessary.

Potential future purchase?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…



That sets a portion of the tone of this tale of terror…am I reacting to something in my apartment with hives that resemble insect bites, are the fleas again emerging to piss me off, or am I imprinting from all the stuff I see on the web?

Mental note:


I see … things … that … scare … me … silly.



I have a few memories from childhood that feature ticks. As the results of this (giving that the mind, especially the childhood mind, imprints VERY deeply on the body) I have an unnatural fear of blood-sucking bugs. The only insect which doesn’t inspire terror is the common mosquito.

Although – them suckers are disease vectors all wrapped up in an annoying high-pitched whine with sucky mouth-parts.



I remember everyone else in the family going for a hike in the woods surrounding Babe & Mic’s place (not sure of the familial bond, here..they were always just Babe & Mic) when I was a kid.  At the time, they lived way out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded on all sides by extremely thick green – fur trees, oaks, grasses, etc.  You had to look UP to see the sky.  I know there was discussion in front of my little 5 or 6 year old ears about ticks, poison ivy, and all things hazardous in the woods.  I was so terrified by the thought of multi-legged, blood-sucking demons that I was actually afraid of trees.  The family had a difficult time getting me to emerge from the safety of the house.

I steadfastly refused any deep-woods hiking from that moment onward.  I even remember hiding in the car while everyone else sat on a picnic table in a copse of trees.

I was sent to a weekend camp when I was 12.  We had some sort of scavenger hunt in the woods.  While I was still freaked out about bugs, I let peer-pressure (and the teachers, who wouldn’t let anyone ‘not’ participate) shove me in the woods with a group.  After all, I had successfully (to this point) avoided any tick-based encounters.

I could do this!

In the common shower room that night, there was a tick found on me – rather high up on the right buttock.  I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t reach it, nobody else would dislodge it…and all the peers took great pleasure in wringing every last bit of terror out of me.

You never forget your first panic attack.

The teachers and camp staff were ill-equipped to deal with a headstrong preteen experiencing their first full blown panic attack, and more than slightly annoyed at being thrust into this situation. They did finally manage to get me slightly settled down, but nothing – not even breakfast – was going to dislodge me from my bunk until it was time to get back on the bus and head home.

Is it any wonder that when the kids want to drag me to go camping with them, I politely decline?

Now – I can go to a park.  I can go to a lake.  I can go to places where the landscape has trees, as long as its somewhat manicured.  I can be by trees – take pictures of them – and if they’re urban trees, lean up against them.  I will never climb a tree, though.  And I will never go deep-woods camping or hiking, no matter HOW delicious the scenery is portrayed to be…because I remain deeply terrified of ticks.

I’m not too fond of communal showers, either…but that’s a different story.
So where does the panic attack this week come in?

A few weeks ago, we noticed that up and down the street was a plethora of furniture being tossed to the curb.  A lot of couches, chairs, and an insane amount of mattresses/box-springs.  One of these sets showed up, right outside OUR building – with two words spray-painted on it’s plasticked covering:

Mattress with Bedbugs Art, on corner of St. Marks Place and 2nd. Ave.


The itchies came back with a vengeance…browsing the ‘net increased the anxiety.  And the icing on this multi-legged cake – we found a small, flat, black bug on my bed.

Enter:  The Panic Attack.

To find what I assumed was a bed bug IN MY ROOM, given the recent resurgence of the little horrors in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago – the confirmation that the vampiric denizens of hell were IN my building, my itching skin, and too much ‘net-based information?

Yea – it was a bad one.

I barely slept that night, convinced with every movement that I was being consumed by night-time, childhood terrors.  Terrors made real by my drained bank account telling me I have no money to move.  The realization that, even if I DID move, I’d probably bring the little horrors along for the ride, and the knowledge that the only way I could flee from these demons encased in a chitinous shell was to abandon every object I owned.

By morning, lack of sleep combined with a whirlwind of chaotic thoughts found me an absolute wreck.  I’m still not sure how I managed to make it through work.

The lady in the cubicle in front of me asked me if I was coming down with a cold – because I was blowing my nose a LOT.

The landlady had a bug-sniffing dog through the building a day later – our apartment (according to the little beagle) is clean.  No creepy horrors in my living space.  Unfortunately, the rest of the building is not so clean – there are 2 apartments infested.

They are bringing in professional Pest Control Services to clear the infestation – but with everything I’ve read – they’re notoriously difficult to eliminate and spread through walls.

I’ve instituted a few strategies to keep them OUT of my space.  Essential oils across my door, diatomaceous earth around the threshold, on the door mat, along the baseboards and common walls – and under my bed.  All the former clutter in my bedroom has been carefully sealed in big, plastic totes.  I will leave no place for the little hellions to hide.

And somehow – by taking charge of the situation and laying down barriers the entire panic has lessened.

Pain shared is pain halved.

Three Line Thursday Contest

For more of Becky’s posts – see the link under

Becky Cummings Flicker page

It’s just a little ditty – you only get 30 words.  It’s been a while since I visited Grace at her place on the ‘net – it felt a bit like going back to a well-loved natural spot.

If you’ve the time and inclination – come lay down some ink on her site.


Here’s what I gave today:


Absorbing the message from the voice of the Natural
Allow silence. Welcome solitude. Accept…Alone.
You cannot drown in the stillness of yourself.