Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Total Eclipse of My Heart

Living in an area that would be experiencing a total solar eclipse on August 21, for the past few months the news and my Facebook feed were filled with stories and information about the first total solar eclipse to hit the continental U.S. in 38 years. For those of us in the greater St. Louis area, the last total eclipse was in 1442! So it was kind of a big deal, to say the least.

But before experiencing the eclipse, Jim and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary on the 19th. Our friends, Kathy and Paul, traveled to the area from Minnesota for the eclipse and spent the weekend with us before heading off to a relative's lake home in Illinois. It was special for us that they were here on Saturday as they sang at our wedding all those years ago. In addition to visiting, we explored the new green space downtown as well as the beauty of the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was a great weekend!
wedding anniversary
For the eclipse we were invited to a friend's lake house located about 45 minutes away. There were reports of how horrific traffic would be following the eclipse, and that coupled with the fact that I wanted to be able to play with my cameras during the event cemented my decision to stay home. While our house would only experience 1 minute and 16 seconds of totality as opposed to the 2 minutes the lake house would get, other factors weighed in on the decision to have a friend over and do things my way.

Mirassou Moscato
I had taken a class at a local photography class on how to photograph the eclipse, but I decided not to invest $110 on a solar filter that I would only use once. That being the case, the only safe time for me to take a photo of the eclipse was during totality. That was fine - I just wanted to experience the solar eclipse and not be viewing it through a camera lens.

I chilled a bottle of Moscato for "toastality", and Diane and I enjoyed a nice lunch inside before sitting on my front porch to enjoy the show. While it was hot out, a couple of fans cooled us between the times we ventured out of the shade to safely view the moon's progress through our eclipse glasses. As totality drew near, I set up a small video recorder, not directed at the sun, to record the changes in light and sound. Unfortunately a neighbor's dusk to dawn lights came on and messed up my light sensor, so that was a bust. Looking down at the ground, the appearance of moon crescents through the leaves of the trees was fascinating to see.

moon shadows
total solar eclipse
During totality the temperature dropped about 5 degrees, the birds silenced and the cicadas started chirping. Removing my glasses, I took a quick shot of the moon. I have no idea why my moon picture is white as all the others I have seen are black with a white ring. I would say that I blew the photo out, yet it is curious that you can see a couple of craters on the moon. It's a unique shot, at any rate.

For all the hype surrounding this eclipse, I can honestly say that it was totality worth it!

No comments: