Bad Moon Risen

Hopefully Sammy won’t mind, but I thought his photo of last night’s total lunar eclipse deserved a wider viewing.


  • susan

    An astonishing photo, Sammy Morse.

    Last night whilst looking up I remembered there was a Yeats poem entitled “Blood and the Moon”, but couldn’t remember a line of it. In the grey light of morning it turns out to be singularly inappropriate for a night when the moon shone red, but naturally I’ll calmly proceed to inflict some lines of it on yiz anyway. Like the eclipse itself, glimpses of it are wondrous indeed — so much depends on where you are standing.

    from “Blood and the Moon” by WB Yeats:

    “The purity of the unclouded moon
    Has flung its atrowy shaft upon the floor.
    Seven centuries have passed and it is pure,
    The blood of innocence has left no stain.
    There, on blood-saturated ground, have stood
    Soldier, assassin, executioner.
    Whether for daily pittance or in blind fear
    Or out of abstract hatred, and shed blood,
    But could not cast a single jet thereon.
    Odour of blood on the ancestral stair!
    And we that have shed none must gather there
    And clamour in drunken frenzy for the moon.

    Upon the dusty, glittering windows cling,
    And seem to cling upon the moonlit skies,
    Tortoiseshell butterflies, peacock butterflies,
    A couple of night-moths are on the wing.
    Is every modern nation like the tower,
    Half dead at the top? No matter what I said,
    For wisdom is the property of the dead,
    A something incompatible with life; and power,
    Like everything that has the stain of blood,
    A property of the living; but no stain
    Can come upon the visage of the moon
    When it has looked in glory from a cloud.”

  • Nevin
  • Plum Duff

    Excellent photo, Sammy. I’m sorry I missed the real eclipse but I was out destroying brain cells – kinda like having a mini-one of my own…

    Do you mind saying if you took it with a ‘normal’ camera or telescope with attachment. If the first, can you say what the settings were? Thanks.

  • graduate

    Great photo Sammy. I went out about 10.50 last nioght and it was lovely and clear and a great sight. so seldom we get a clear view in this part of the world

  • Plum Duff – it was with a Nikon D50 plus 200mm lens, settings were something in the order of 1/4 sec, f5.6. Needed a tripod, obviously! Oh, and it was cropped a little in Photoshop, but that’s it, no alteration to colours or levels or anything.

    It has never entered my head that I might need anything more than a 200mm lens before, but I could have done with it last night. But the ‘entry price’ for big lenses rather puts me off, even second hand.

  • parcifal


    English poet John Milton, in Paradise Lost, wrote these lines offering some portents:

    As when the Sun, new risen,
    Looks through the horizontal misty air,
    Shorn of his beams, or from behind the Moon,
    In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
    On half the nations and with fear of change
    Perplexes monarchs

  • Speaking of Bad Moon rising, anyone heard from Ingram recently?

    His website darkside is being blocked and you are directed to some kind of smith executive site.

    It is only I wonder if he has some new revelations and is being gagged in the run up to the elections?

  • parcifal

    peteb, don’t forget “sky at night” this evening 11:45pm earlier than usual.

  • Dougal

    That is one class pic Sammy! Well done!

  • Chopper

    Maybe its a sign for Wed ???

  • susan

    Chopper, that would depend on whether you interpret the eclipse as an orange moon, or a burnt orange moon!

    Parcifal, thanks for that, it’s ages since any Milton crossed my path.

  • Crataegus


    Excellent photo.

    Some political types photograph the moon, most in these parts bay at it.

  • Plum Duff

    Sammy, thanks for the info.

    Crataegus, ya goddit in one!!

  • Great omen. The future’s bright, the future’s Orange.

    Best picture of a moon from someone called Sammy in ages.