Yesterday I took the afternoon off work to experience the solar eclipse. Some friends of mine were driving higher into the mountains to the southwest to try and get into range of the totality without dealing with the congestion that most of the more popular areas were going to experience, and I rode with them.
We drove way out into the hills, climbing steadily up a dirt road until we were on the backside of the national forest. We noticed a hillside that had been clearcut and was not posted with ‘no tresspassing’ signs, so we pulled off there and sat in the middle of this clearing (which looked like ground zero of a meteor strike) and took turns viewing the eclipse with a couple of pairs of eclipse glasses.
It didn’t get noticably dark until right before the totality, but the light got… weird. The shadows of the pine trees looked strange and ‘underwatery’ and the crickets began singing at the peak of the eclipse. We were barely at the edge of the totality, so when it came, we only had seconds to look at it without the safety of the glasses, but it was an amazing sight. I’m glad I got to experience it.
I tried taking pictures with my phone holding the glasses over the lens, but just got a blurry orange blob that way. I did get a pretty neat picture of the dusky sky during the totality, a few of the pine shadows, (not real defined because of the clouds) and – me being me – several pictures of a neat beetle that landed on my knee.
Unfortunately, my partner was not able to get any time off work, so she couldn’t come with us, but the skies were clearer where we live and even though our town was only in the 98% totality range, she got some really cool pictures – much better than mine, actually – of the tree shadows throwing mini eclipses onto the sidewalk.
Featured Image: 2017 solar eclipse landscape at peak of totality.