By the light of the Comanche Moon

For those of us in Texas today, the sight of the full moon is often a glorious one, especially once you get out of the big city.  For settlers on the Texas frontier, however, the full moon rising could have a definitive negative connotation.  The Comanche would take advantage of the bright light to carry out raids throughout Texas and into Mexico and the full moon was often times known as the Comanche Moon.

Can you imagine having this fellow come knocking on your log cabin door in the middle of the night??


I was out west of the metromess yesterday, talking with graduate students on the pluses and minuses of a museum career.   I decided since Abilene was only an hour or so away from where I was talking, I’d get out there and try and capture some images of Fort Phantom Hill under the light of the Comanche Moon….  I must be living right as I got on site about 15 minutes before sundown and was able to get right to work.

Truly one of the neatest photography experiences I’ve had to date – I had the fort grounds all to myself, thunderheads all around me with lightning and thunder, and several groups of coyotes calling in the distance.

And the moon was absolutely stellar.

Comanche moonrise

This shot is straight out of the camera, all I’ve done was resize and watermark it.  4/f, 100 ISO, 10 sec exposure.


~ by Derrick Birdsall on October 12, 2011.

8 Responses to “By the light of the Comanche Moon”

  1. Great up-close portrait and educational story.

  2. These are both awesome shots! Great work and theme, sir.

  3. Very unique post great 🙂

  4. Amazing! I also enjoyed the history lesson. I never knew that is what was meant my Comanche Moon. When we were driving home (late…plane was delayed in FL for 2 hours) from the airport Sunday night, the moon and clouds were amazing. Had our flight not been so delayed I am sure I would have been out photographing it!

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