Photos and essay by Mary Alice Murphy

img 7323Lunar eclipse just prior to totality 013118

With the celestial happenings this week, I was pleased that we live in a climate that has lots of cloudless nights, when an exciting event, like a rare triple event of the supermoon, blue moon and lunar eclipse happen, at the same time. And it was on full view here.

But I also like clouds, especially when they bring much needed rain and snow, which they haven't done much of this winter.

However, clouds on the low western horizon at sunset sometimes create spectacular photographic opportunities.

My shutter finger was busy, not with my usual journalistic activities, although I did get a couple in this week, but with heavenly happenings.

img 7336Lunar eclipse about half an hour before sunrise and moonsetI was up early (twice) first to get the lunar eclipse right before totality and then I went back to sleep for less than an hour and was up again to catch the full lunar eclipse before sunrise wiped it out and the moon set behind the mountains.

The two lunar eclipse photographs shown here were taken 59 minutes apart. Totality lasted a phenomenally long time.

Clouds on the horizon, on Friday evening, made for great sunset photos. I have hundreds of sunset photos, maybe thousands. I'm a sucker for those dramatic colors soon after the sun slips below our mountainous horizon.

Step outside on a clear evening and find a spot without street lights or other distracting lights and check out the myriads of stars that we can see in our dark skies.

But don't forget the moon. When it's around full moon time, in dark areas without artificial lights, you can easily see your way around your yard or driveway. Moon shadows seem darker than sun shadows, but are just as distinct.

img 7371Sunset Feb. 2, 2018 Looks kind of like ocean waves on fire, doesn't it?

This time of year, bundle up, but it's been really fairly balmy this winter. Here's hoping we do get some rain or snow soon. Rain is fine down low, if we get snow in the mountains.

May your musings bring you beauty!

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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