Monday, August 21, 2017

2017 Solar Eclipse

Since we live in the St. Louis area, our house was on the edge of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse.  For our oldest child, that was enough.  His school was in session and had plans to safely view the eclipse outdoors, so he had no interest in going further to get a longer time in totality.  For my husband though, home wasn't enough and he took us about 30 minutes south so we could get an extra 90 seconds of totality.

Honestly, I thought it was a little silly.  I remembered seeing an eclipse as a kid through a shoe box - it wasn't all that eventful.  I had pretty serious doubts about this one being all that exciting either, but I was looking forward to spending extra time with my husband and daughter.  And since I was more interested in the time than then event, and also knew many photographer friends would be putting out amazing pictures, I opted to not buy a solar filter for my camera.  I had a half second regret this morning and made a last ditch effort to call before we drove out, but the sales person and I both had a good laugh about my request when he said they had been out for weeks.  I decided to shoot the people watching and hope for a fun shot or two during totality where I knew I could take off my glasses.

The location we went to was like a tiny festival.  There were shirts, food tents, and people hanging around with friends and family.  Of course, with festivals comes sweet treats, so my husband and girl got to indulge in what my daughter called a "swushie" (snow cone) while we awaited the moon's appearance.

 It was fun to see people's response to the eclipse.  There were people that were prepped for a major tragedy, and I'm sure could have been abandoned on the interstate for days and been fine.  Then there were people all around us scrambling for glasses this weekend (our family included).  And although we were warned to make sure and fill gas tanks before leaving home due to crazy traffic, I may have been calculating miles and gas left in my tank when we got stuck in traffic on the way back - serves me right.

Other people seemed to come and go with the shirts on their back.  Since we live along the Katy Trail, there were tons of people that came and went on their bikes as well.  It was really cool to see the difference.

 What was the most cool thing about the eclipse was to watch night take over in the middle of the day.  Hearing that it will happen is different than experiencing it yourself.  You could see the light becoming more of a foggy shadow and the sky changing colors.  Watching the light on the horizons was pretty awesome.

 I made sure to shoot both sides of our area when totality hit and the glasses came off because it really was that cool.  And the sun was even cooler.  It was so surreal to be in the midst of so many things my body said didn't go together: dusk, nighttime sounds, mid-day on my clock, a couple of stars in the sky, all next to a flaming circle of light covered in mid air.  So incredible.

 And even though we had over 2 minutes of totality, it felt like so much faster ...

Just as fast as it started, it was over, and the sun returned.  Of course, there was still plenty of partial eclipse to be seen, including shadows of the sun on the ground, but that seemed like a let down compared to what we had just seen.  I hope your family got to see a little bit of the eclipse and watch how cool it was to see God work His magic.

Until next time,

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