Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Totality


From a small town in Idaho, four hours from home, DH and I watched the total solar eclipse with about 30 carloads of our newest friends--most of whom had driven up from Utah (like ourselves) to catch the full effect. It was awe-inspiring!


We left home Sunday evening, after church services and family dinner. We drove into Ririe, ID at 11:00 p.m. Joining a handful of other cars, we parked in an LDS church parking lot and tried to sleep in the back of our van--having removed the back two rows of seats before leaving home and adding 2 foam mats and bedding.

By morning the number of cars had doubled, and as the morning wore on, the numbers kept increasing.
 
When the eclipse began, there were families and groups all over the church lawn witnessing the bite the moon took from the sun, beginning at the upper right. We were ready! 
The cute family that was next to us during the eclipse was kind enough to pose for me with their glasses on.

 

 

As the bites of the moon grew larger, strange things began happening, much of it dealing with shadows.


Shadows lost their sharp edges and became fuzzy and indistinct. Crescent shapes popped up everywhere. See those bumps between hubby's fingers. They aren't there in real life. :)

And rather than light just passing  between the leaves on a tree to a surface below, creating leaf shapes, they acted like the mini pinhole viewers. They showered any surface beneath them with little crescent shaped lights.

As the crescent of the sun becomes more and more a sliver,  we brace ourselves for the big moment.

The quality and intensity of the light around us is changing and seems dim, flat and dull. The air has cooled by several degrees, and there is a soft orange glow on the horizon--in every direction.
And then it happens--totality!
The sky appears to be in the last stages of dusk, the auto-on lights of nearby buildings come on, the temperature has dropped considerably (can be as much as 20 degrees, depending on your location), the stars and planets are visible, there are no shadows, and you get to rip off those glasses and look right at the sun with its blazing corona!



Cheers and whooping erupt from the crowd and then almost a reverent awe settles in as we try to embrace each fleeting moment of this possibly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In just over 2 minutes the spectacle of totality has passed. It is a memory that will live forever, though the experience itself seemed to slip by incredibly fast!
But the show isn't entirely over. Gradually the moon excuses itself from in front of the sun, until it is barely obscuring the lower left corner. And then it is gone.
(If you look very closely you can detect three sunspots in the center.)

You leave knowing you have been a part of something very special, and that memory makes even the 8 1/2 hours of travel time home (for what should be a four hour trip), all worth it!

Especially when nice people gather on the overpasses to witness and wave to the masses leaving their state.
 

Until next time (when I will reveal my latest mini quilt swap).
Janet O.

38 comments:

  1. Truly an awesome experience! Nashville was one of the cities with a total eclipse and there were thousands of people who came from all over the world to experience two minutes of totality. The cheers, reverence and response when the earth went from bright light to total darkness was a life time/changing experience Yes the crickets were chirping.

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  2. Sounds and looks like an exciting adventure! And all with groovie glasses! You did it in style!

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  3. Such a fantastic post!! The news here didn't mention some of the little details you witnessed. I watched the corona happen several times as it progressed across the US on NASA feed but I can't wait to see it in person - 2024!! Did you use a solar lense for your camera?

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  4. We had a 90%+ eclipse in our town...someone said close to 99% but I am not sure of that. It was interesting to watch and I was totally amazed that when only a sliver of the sun remained to be seen, and yet it was still fairly light outside. It was still awe inspiring sight, and one that I will remember. I was in a machine quilting workshop and several of us had the special glasses, so we all took turns looking at the sun. Your pictures are wonderful, did you take these?

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  5. WOO HOO you're eclipse report was AMAZING!! I loved every single photo and studied them carefully. I'm so happy that I have a first person account! thanks for sharing this special experience with us.
    great photos!!!

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  6. What an awesome experience for you, thanks for sharing all your photos. The shadows-through the leaves photos are especially wonderful; I had never seen or heard about that effect before. We had a little over 70% here, the clouds parted during the maximum moments of the eclipse and it became somewhat darker here though not as much as I would have thought. We get another chance to see one in WNY in seven years - something to look forward to!

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  7. Absolutely AMAZING! You got some beautiful photo's. My daughter saw totality at her home near Nashville. In our part of NC , we had a very overcast eerie color, and the shadows from the leaves were amazing. We had glasses and I watched the amazing show that we had here. We kept a tiny sliver at it's fullest effect, but it was still amazing. In seven years from now, I may just have to take a trip to see totality!

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  8. You got some wonderful excellent photos too! How amazing that a sign in the sky celestial event can move us and bring together strangers to share the experience. In this day and age of all the ugly in the world it is reassuring to know that miracles can happen.

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  9. How awe inspiring. I am so happy that you were able to experience it. What a treat. Thank you so much for sharing it with the rest of us.

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  10. So was everything there with you Mormon or were others invited to park there as well? Just wondering. We only had partial but in 2024, WE'LL get to actually experience totality!!

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  11. Wow. Beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing. Higs

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  12. Great pictures. Utah gets totality on 2045. Do you think we'll be around?? Glad you got to see it in Idaho. Crazy traffic everywhere. I was happy to stay home. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Awesome Mom! Great post :) I'm glad you two got to go experience it. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Thank you for a first hand report of the eclipse. You provided information and pictures that were spectacular and non that I had seen from other reports. Almost felt like I was there with you. Not being in the eclipse path here in So. Calif., your pictures gave me a view from a front row seat.

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    Replies
    1. Happy to share it, Terry. And I am glad you enjoyed it.
      You do not have an email address attached to your profile, so I could not respond personally. Sorry.

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  15. Thanks for sharing, I had some clouds in my area, still had the change of temperature (only about 5 degrees) and the light to dark to light. The dots on your picture may be the Space Station.

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  16. Oh wow, what a super cooooool post!! Thanks you, Janet for experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime event and sharing it with us all!! You Mom was right, right?? :-))

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  17. Thank you for sharing this awesome experience!

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  18. What a great adventure! I'm glad you got to experience it first hand. So worth it!

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  19. Great images - thank you for writing about this event - here in northern Wisconsin, our light turned somewhat harsh and had silvery tones but no darkness.

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  20. WAY COOL! Glad it was a good experience for you! I was not expecting the huge drop in temperature - amazing!

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  21. I was thrilled to read your eclipse experience. Your photos were awesome and I loved hearing how you and the other folks seemed to come together to share the magical experience. Well, maybe not all the folks, especially those all trying to get home at the same time. Very cool!

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  22. Hi Janet! Your experience sounds wonderful! I have heard from many family how great the totality was. We wimped out because of the crowds and found a beautiful spot on Hebgen Lake to view 99%. Even that was awe-inspiring and we were very grateful to a fellow viewer for his loan of xtra viewing glasses. We had left ours in IF where we had originally planned to view. And it took us 10 minutes to get the 10 miles back to oue campspot! 😄Glad you are safe and sound!

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  23. How wonderful Janet ... what an amazing experience. And you have captured it so wonderfully. I think it would've been worth the long drive just to experience something so magical!!!

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  24. I absolutely loved this post!! Thank you for taking us there! What an amazing experience and you captured it so well!

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  25. WOW!! Love your pictures. So amazing. thanks for sharing!!
    And I thought you didn't like long car trips!!! HA!!
    ;-))

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  26. Totally and completely awesome! Thanks for sharing your pics! :-)

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  27. Awesome! We didn't have such an enjoyabe sight here in Florida. We stayed inside and watched the eclipse cross the country via our television.

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  28. Great pictures, as always! Thanks for sharing the journey.

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  29. Great photos Janet! It was so amazing! It exceeded my expectations!!

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  30. You have some incredible photos to show for this great event Janet. We didn't want to make a big deal of it, and then I decided that we needed to experience history. We had glasses so were able to see a partial eclipse from the yard. We didn't think to look at the shadows - how interesting!

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  31. You took some great photos, Janet. Thanks for sharing them. I can imagine what it must have been like to see the total eclipse. Here in Ohio the sky was so cloudy we couldn't see the sun or moon, let alone the eclipse. It was disappointing. I'm glad so many who saw it are sharing their photos.

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  32. Such an amazing experience Janet - and what wonderful photos you got!! Thank you for sharing the photos and the great write-up. I imagine that you will remember this forever.

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  33. I just read your last 4 posts! I couldn't believe I am that far behind. We were very fortunate to be able to see the Totality of the eclipse from our front yard!! It was awesome!! I didn't comment on all your posts, but just want to mention that I do love your Garden Party mini. The colors are perfect! And I am going to have to check out those rulers, not for minis, but regular size. I just bought a new Fiskars ruler that I just hate! The lines are so fat you can't tell where the fabric ends on the inch lines. The quarter inch lines are fine, but I think I'll take it back. I can't work with it. Thanks for the info about the Creative Grid rulers. I don't know if they have them at Joanns or not, but I will find out. Thanks!

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  34. That was a great experience, Janet! In 2024, the eclipse will happen directly over us. We sat on the back porch and watched it happen this time with about 92% coverage. Our son-in-law temporarily working in Oregon saw 100% coverage as did the daughters in Kansas and Missouri. Thanks for your view!

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