Located in the Mora valley, just two hours east of Santa Fe, in one of the darkest, most pristine night sky regions of the country, Fort Union once protected the trade route alongside Mountain and Cimarron Branches of the old Santa Fe Trail. The remnants of the second of three forts constructed in 1851, mostly made of fragile adobe, are protected and preserved by the National Park Service, and give us a glimpse of the tranquil grasslands, distant mountains and near perfect dark skies that soldiers stationed here once upon a time enjoyed.
The forts built here landed from 1851 to 1891 and during the Civil War was the only thing standing between Confederate Army which had taken control of Santa Fe and their potential invasion of Denver. Between March 26 to 28, 1862, Union and Confederate forces clashed at Battle of Glorieta Pass for the control of Fort Union and the Union forces won, effectively ending Confederate dream of sweeping across New Mexico. This battle is featured in Sergio Leone legendary western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
US Army buggle call TAPS (a.k.a. Butterfield's Lullaby, arranged by Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield) featured at the opening of the video was originally accompanied by melancholic ode-to-the-night-sky lyrics by Horace Lorenzo Trim
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Fading light, dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.
Thanks and praise, for our days,
'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, neath the sky;
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.
Sun has set, shadows come,
Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds
Always true to the promise that they made.
While the light fades from sight,
And the stars gleaming rays softly send,
To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.
This video was filmed as part of SKYGLOW (skyglowproject.com), an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America. This project is being produced in collaboration with International Dark-Sky Association (darksky.org), a non-profit fighting for the preservation of night skies around the globe.
The film was shot on Canon 5DSR & 5DIV cameras & lenses sponsored by Canon USA, aided by Alpine Labs' Michron, powered by Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini. LRTimelapse was used to process some of the shots.
High resolution stills can be found here: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24210546/JPEG/FORT%20UNION%20-%20HARUN%20MEHMEDINOVIC%20-%20SKYGLOWPROJECT.zip
Producer/Editor/Shooter: Harun Mehmedinovic
Music: Terry Devine-King
Charles Strickfaden & Megan Urban
Semezdin & Sanja Mehmedinovic
Matt Walker & Pierangelo Pirak
Aaron McNally & Canon USA
Kevin Noble & Paul C. Buff Inc.
Greg Horvath & Alpine Labs
International Dark-Sky Association
Northern Arizona University
State of New Mexico
Fort Union, NM
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