Lunar Landscapes


While out photographing the landscape the last few months the moon was my frequent and welcome companion. I love including it in my landscapes, no matter what phase, from crescent to full. And, the moon was especially helpful this autumn when skies were sometimes hazy with smoke and, at other times lacking in clouds and interest. As a ‘moon child’ I am a big fan of the moon and with a good view looking east I like to follow its cycle. Here in the San Juans I need to account for the mountains when timing the moon’s appearance. It depends upon the height of the ridge or mountain it is hiding behind. There could be up to a 30 minute difference … appearing later or disappearing sooner. The anticipation of moon rise and, also catching it as it sets, is a wondrous experience I am grateful for!

A lot is written about ‘moon children ‘ and here is some I can identify with and approve … A moon child is someone born under the astrological sign of Cancer. Moon children have strong intuition and should always pay attention to their hunches. Most of them have a very retentive memory recalling even small events from the past in great detail. They are very idealistic and always do the best job they can. The Cancerian imagination can bring them success in artistic work, writing, or anything creative.

A single aspen tree brightens the foreground of this autumn scene near Red Mountain Pass, Ouray, Colorado.

‘Half-Moon Over Autumn’ © Denise Bush
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A waxing half moon rises over a peak and forest in the San Juan Mountains.

‘Waxing Moon Over Mountain’ © Denise Bush

Last light and tthe appearance of the moon create a beautiful mountain scene.

‘Lunar Appearance’ © Denise Bush

A crescent moon rising above a mountain top makes a fun silhouette image

‘Crescent Moon Setting’ © Denise Bush

The moon is a welcome accent to the sky over Kendall Mountain, near Silverton Colorado.

‘Moon Over Kendall’ © Denise Bush

A full moon is setting in smoky skies as a result of wildfires in The West.

‘Full Moon Over Smoky Landscape’ © Denise Bush

A setting moon makes an nice accent to the beautiful fall colors.

‘Moon Over Colorful Aspens’ © Denise Bush


48 Responses to “Lunar Landscapes”

  1. What lovely images! My husband is also a “moon child” and this describes him quite accurately. I’ll be sure to acquaint him with your beautiful photography.

  2. Denise, with these shots, you definitely are a “moonchild.” They are all stunning. I especially enjoyed the moon over the aspens. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you Bruce. Glad you like that one. Those aspens had an unusual amount of orange and red so I wanted to include as much of them as possible before the moon disappeared!

  3. The third picture, with its yellow aspens, their reflection in the water, the ridge of mountains, and then of course the moon, is quite an eye-grabber. And it’s another of your vertical landscapes.

    Your crescent moon is a good abstraction, what with the curve of the hill and the two curves that define the moon.

    It’s nice how you tucked the moon into a corner of the final image. I hope you didn’t charge it extra for that special placement.

    • Hi Steve. I had to scramble to get that last shot. The aspens had so much unusual orange and red I wanted to include as much of them as possible. Thanks for looking, checking in and for your thoughts!

  4. Denise, you’ve done a great job at including the moon in these images. My favorite is the first one, Half-moon Over Autumn”. The moon is a wonderful focal point that may be the first thing you notice, but it does not dominate, and brings the viewer into the beautiful landscape, especially the yellow areas in the image.

    • Thanks Ken … glad you like my opener. You can tell which I like and/or think are wall-art worthy when I include a link. Your thoughts are appreciated!

  5. 9 Joseph Perno

    Full Moon over Smoky Landscape is my favorite. I love the subtle shading of the different mountains. If course they are all beautiful but this one stands out from the rest.

    Joe Perno

    • Hi Joe! It was very cloudy and smoky that morning, and the setting moon became more faint and disappeared soon after I shot this. A couple other people favored that one too. Thanks so much for stopping by … it means a lot!

  6. Moonshine mountains, gorgeous landscapes, especially closeups.

  7. A stunning series, Denise. I love how you include the moon, and the “Full Moon Over Smoky Landscape” is so beautifully captured.

  8. A new great series of images. I love it.

  9. These are great, Denise! Tough choosing a favorite, but the crescent moon against the near black silhouette of trees is so striking. ‘Moon Over Colorful Aspens’ and ‘Full Moon Over Smoky Landscape’ are pretty amazing, too.

    • Thanks so much Eliza! The silhouette looks more like a silk screen than a photo to me. I had to scramble before the moon disappeared behind the ridge with colorful aspens. We stay busy blogging and visiting one another’s blogs, don’t we? I’ll visit soon!

  10. These are stunning pictures. Having the moon in the pictures brings more story into the picture. Great to learn what “moon child” is,

  11. Denise, my heart always lifts when I see a post of yours in my Reading list. I confess to not knowing a thing about “moon children” before reading this. You’ve got some fine attributes to boast of, my friend. And like a parcel of pups, I can’t pick one favorite out this collection of moonshots.

    • Thanks Linda … so glad you enjoy seeing my posts! I don’t claim those moon child attributes 100% but maybe to some degree. BTW … my friend who writes harlequin mysteries read your book and had very positive comments!

      • That is so kind of you to pass along, Denise! I’ve done a lousy job of marketing, especially with COVID. Since your friend is an author, I’m sure she understands how important book reviews are and it would be swell if she could share a few comments in a review for me. 🙂

  12. So beautiful photos Denise!

  13. Each one is beautiful, Denise ❤

  14. Each photo is so special. The way you include moon is remarkable.

  15. I especially love the Autumn images!! I wish that WPress had a few more options than “Like” – similar to Facebook – then I would choose “Love” or “Wow”

    • Thank you Michael! I wish Autumn lasted longer. In other months I sometimes see a scene I want to shoot and then think … but it will be so much prettier in the fall.

  16. All fine images, Denise. But my favorite is the first and not just because it is beautiful but because also you titled in a way that makes me smile. “Half Moon”. 🙂 It always bugs me that we are told that the moon is full and then has two quarters. Crazy! 🙂

  17. Beautiful pictures 🙂

    • Thanks very much for stopping in to have a look at my Lunar Landscapes! I appreciate it and I’m glad you like them too!

      • It’s been a pleasure stopping in your post. Try to spend a little while through my posts just looking at my photos that, unfortunately, aren’t so beautiful as yours. Sorry for my english. Bye

      • Thank you. You have a great travel blog! The intent of mine is different. My aim is to share themed, fine art photos and thoughts about photography.

      • Your photos are really wonderful. Even though I write about travels, I love taking good pictures and I also like getting suggestions

  18. 40 Deb

    Gorgeous, as always. Love the fall foliage and moon together!

  19. It’s good to live in a place where you can see the moon often – I think that’s a healthy thing. A few of these have instant appeal for me – the second to last, for its subdued simplicity, the crescent moon for the same reason, and ‘Lunar Appearance.’ I love the grandness of the space in that image. Have a good week, Denise, and stay safe. 🙂

    • Yes … we are enjoying the sky up here at 9,000 feet. We lived in the woods for many years and couldn’t see much of the sky. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • I forget you’re up THAT high – you know, I have never even been that high, in terms of driving or walking.

  20. Very nice to see the moon in your beautiful photos Denise, and reading about moon children.

  21. I love a zoomed in shot of the moon. Its craters look so amazing and fascinating!

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