|Totten Reservoir, Mesa Verde, and Sleeping Ute Mountain.|
In June, sunset occurs late, just after 8:30 PM, which is also about the time that the Full Moon rises in the east. So I had some time to kill.
I drove to Totten Reservoir just east of Cortez, in part because the late afternoon haze was making Sleeping Ute Mountain stand out on the southwestern skyline. Mostly clear blue skies, a nice breeze, the warming light of the lowering sun.
|Sleeping Ute Mountain from Totten Reservoir.|
Why is it called Sleeping Ute? To the right is the warrior's head, with his headdress flowing out. (He seems to have no nose, who knows?). His arms are folded across his chest, forming Ute Peak on the map. To the far left his knees are visible, and even the tips of his toes. It is said that Sleeping Ute will awaken when his tribe needs him, so take heed!
But to the east is the North Rim of Mesa Verde, the dazzling cliffs that form the backdrop to the town of Cortez. It was there that the moonrise would appear over. Earlier in the afternoon I had alerted some visitors going into the park to watch for it. City dwellers are unaware of such things, and they delight in being given such tips to enjoy with their families.
|Moonrise over the North Rim of Mesa Verde, from Cortez.|
|Full Moon after it got too dark for good landscape shots.|
But about 9 PM the Full Moon (actually a bit past 100% illumination, but who's counting) started to peek over the rim of the Mesa. Shots made a few minutes later were too wildly contrasty to satisfy me. Who needs yet another shot of the gorgeous moon in a black sky? Mesmerizing as it is.
In the morning, though, the rest of the Full Moon event is moonset at dawn. So I was back out at the lake for more. I had slept in, and had to scramble out there to see what was available. I was not disappointed.
|Moonset at dawn, Totten Lake.|
Photo Location: Totten Reservoir State Wildlife Area, Montezuma County, southwest Colorado.
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© Copyright 2017 Stephen J. Krieg