Chasing the Blue Moon in White Sands, New Mexico



It’s been four years since I last rode in the Blue Moon hot air balloon. She has a new pilot now, Dan Ewer, carrying on the tradition of former pilot, Roy Walz, flying over White Sands.


We could photograph the sky from the ground, but not photograph the ground from the sky. White Sands is a protected area.


There’s a song for the above picture. But first we must get there.




And, the chase is on.



Touch down.white_sands_hot_air_balloons_i_cheyenne_macmasters-600x800




Pretty good run for a windy day.


We’re a well tutored crew.


How the air gets out of a hot air balloon.

Appearing at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016: The Blue Moon.

All photos (c) Cheyenne MacMasters 2016


Orbs attend Hot Air Ballooning at White Sands, New Mexico

Orbs attend Hot Air Ballooning at White Sands, New Mexico


This is the scene a week ago today at 5:30 a.m. in White Sands, New Mexico. Most of us awoke to alarm clocks at 3:45 a.m. (that’s 2:45 a.m. if you’re still on Arizona time, but who’s counting?).


Families are already gathered to have some fun sliding down the gypsum dunes. The bright light in the upper left is the full moon.


Saluting the dawn.


Hot Air Balloon pilots and their crews gather to hear the latest weather reports and restrictions when flying over White Sands.


Three  biodegradable pie balls are released for the pilots’ reading of the wind.


And, the show  begins.



Too windy for the blue and white balloon.



We’ll be taking off now.


Time to get to work. My pilot has been watching the balloons on this windy day, not all were able to ascend. But he’s decided we can get ready for flight. In my next post I’ll be chasing the Blue Moon.

All photos (c) Cheyenne MacMasters 2016

Orbs Flock to Hot Air Balloon Glow

Orbs Flock to Hot Air Balloon Glow

Orbs attend Hot Air Balloon Glow in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

If you’ve learned anything about orbs since following my blog, you know they love a party.


And, that’s what the 25th Annual White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational put on for the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico last Saturday night.





Clouds of orbs blocked the view of hot air balloons rising above the park.


See you at White Sands for the mass ascent of the hot air balloons in tomorrow’s post.

All photos (c) Cheyenne MacMasters 2016

Homeward Orbs

orbs in the night

What Orbs Look Like at 55mph

Driving home from Alpine, Arizona it’s finally dark enough to open the window and take some flash photos hoping for orbs.

orbs in the night

Yucca stalk with Orbs

Now this is fun, trying to synchronize my flash with the yucca stalks I see coming our way.

orbs in the night

Yuccas and the Orbs

orbs in the night

Orb and the Bush

Sometimes you can really perceive the depth of the orb.

orbs in the night

Welcoming Orbs

My neighborhood orbs, we’re almost home, slowing around the hairpin turn.

orbs in the night

Triangle Orb

Home at last. The agave is beginning to bloom. And good old triangle orb is on the upper left as usual.

Quiet Night Of Orbs

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Blue and Yellow Orbs

It was a quiet evening for orbs in the woods. At about 9:30 p.m. the dog and I went out to see if we could find something of interest on a moonless night.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Distant Orbs

The orbs are there, but in silent repose.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Orbs in Branches

But still, when you find a wonder, are we to complain that it’s not wonderful enough?

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Power line Orb

When questing orbs that remain elusive, they can often be found hovering over power lines.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Orb Cluster

Who and what are orbs? Are they the will-o-wisps of yore? They do seem to have the sentience ascribed to them by Dr. Klaus Heinemann, a Stanford University professor of physics. All I know is that they are a mystery of pure delight.

Forest Orbs

orb photo Alpine Arizona

First Orb of the Evening

Going out into the night to see if orbs will appear, I center myself in quietness. This image  made me smile at first flash. I now see a second orb of blue in the tree branches.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Faint Orb on Left

It was a night of solo orbs, some pairs floating above the tree tops. I chose this photo simply because I like that craggy branch on the right.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Feels Like Christmas Orbs

Looks like the party of orbs shifted this evening from the forest to the woods bordering the road. I count about 40 in this photo.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Bright Orb

One photo more and the party has dispersed. Could the bright orb in this image be the same that was higher in the center of the party photo?

I’ll be orb questing again tonight. I recommend that you do the same.

Flash On Orbs

orb photograph Alpine AZ

Welcoming Orbs

Stepping out in the night, I walked to a clearing and questioned my senses as to where the orbs were gathered. Left, at the forest’s edge, the deepest black of the moonless woods. Pointing my camera upward, with my flash set to fire, I paused and inserted myself into the silence. Pressing the button half way, the square auto focus set it’s finder on my black screen. We’re working blindly. Press the button down all the way and the sky illuminates in bright flashes: the orbs appear.

orb photos of Alpine Arizona

Canopy with Orbs

Whether or not orbs can be found, and there are at least a couple in the above photo, just shooting blindly into the darkness, then seeing what lights up in the night, is an exercise in trust and wonder.

orb photo Alpine Arizona

Close-up on Orb

When I do get a really bright orb, I look at the pattern within the orb. Using the tools in a simple photo program, adjusting the contrast to low and the shadow to high, brings out more details and often more orbs into view.  Zoom in on this photo to see the halo of blue and gold.

I’ll be out again tonight. We’ll see how the orbs respond to my quest.

Orbs in Alpine

Orbs in Alpine

Orbs at First Sight

Once again I’m on a quest for orbs. Easy enough to do if you simply step outside the cabin door, point your camera skyward and take a flash photo.

Orbs in Alpine, Arizona

Solo Orb

However, once I’ve taken that first simple photo, the orbs go into hiding. Leaving one behind as a sort of scout to figure out what this invasion of flash photography was all about.

Orbs in Alpine, Arizona

Distant Orb is Not the Moon

So, with the orbs playing peek-a-boo, it’s time to just enjoy pointing the camera into the darkness, and see what trees will become illuminated in the night.

Orbs in Alpine, Arizona

Cascading Orbs

Ah, the orbs are back. Perhaps having their picture taken wasn’t so alarming after all.

Orbs in Alpine, Arizona

Smoke and Orbs

Always a pretty sight to find orbs drifting through the fireplace smoke.

I’ll be questing for orbs again tonight, might as well since the dog needs a walk before bedtime. For those of you who are new to orbs, or would like a reminder as to what the great scientific minds have been speculating as to the nature of orbs, here’s a link to an earlier post:

Orb Quest Tonight


orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

It has been too long since I went questing for orbs, but with a friend in town we treated ourselves to a flash adventure on the town.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

Neighborly greetings were shared with the orbs.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters 2014

A castle entrance highlighted passing orbs.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

Orbs flocked to the Mermaid Castle ponds.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

A vacant lot not so vacant.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

Revisiting a favorite haunt of orbs and friends.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

Electrical lines humming with orbs.

orb photo by Cheyenne MacMasters

Murmuring orbs in trees say goodnight.

Thank goodness for friends who say yes! to an evening’s quest for orbs.

Emerging Too


Although I think about questing for orbs every once and awhile, and I would love to share that delight with you, it seems that painting has captured my questing spirit these days… Salutations to you all from my painting blog….