I was out for an evening of photography on the Pawnee National Grasslands the other evening. The stars were out, a brisk wind was blowing, and the quarter-moon was to rise at 11:35 pm. I took lots of shots of the windmill and stars, but my favorite photo came just after the moon appeared. My timing was a fortunate accident. The moon was making it’s way through several layers of clouds on the eastern horizon, so there were periods of alternate dark and light. Being close to the horizon made the sky reddish-bronze, a nice warm color. Off to the west, a cloud bank was rapidly approaching, promising to obscure the sky above the windmill. As luck (and good timing) would have it, the moon briefly illuminated the windmill with a soft light, and moonlight also lit up the cloud bank racing across the sky. There was a patch of open sky just above the windmill that added depth to the image. The brightest star was probably a planet wandering into the frame (I suspect it was Venus). This photo is one I consider a lucky shot – everything worked out well in the end! By the way, I returned home at 1:30 am and fell right to sleep. If you are interested in the Moonlit Windmill, follow this link to my Products page. The second image is interesting, too, because it has more stars and fewer clouds. This photo was taken as the cloud bank was advancing – but the moon was behind clouds on the eastern horizon, so the windmill was not illuminated.