Friday, August 25, 2017
It was here. August 21, 2017. The day of the total solar eclipse.
My son had ordered the special glasses to be able to look at the sun without frying our eyes. I had called my sister-in-law to invite her to go with us to the viewing. We agreed to meet for an early lunch before the big event.
My son and I had scouted for the ideal place to see the eclipse. We agreed that the rural cemetery that is the final resting place of family members would be perfect.
Around the edge of the cemetery there are no trees. We would have an unobstructed view. It is located in the middle of cornfields. Few people even know it is there.
We decided on the best spot before we drove home.
So I woke up bright and early. To an overcast sky. Oh no. After having little to no rain all summer we have been having quite a bit lately. The plants need it but not this day. Please.
I watched the weather on television. The forecast was for intermittent rain and mostly cloudy skies. Noooooo.
The weathercaster did say that the best chance for the skies to clear enough to view the eclipse was in our area. Dare we hope?
My son and I gathered our things together making certain that we had those special glasses and his camera. We were going to take a chance. Off we went to have our early lunch.
As we drove toward town the clouds did seem to clear a bit. Hope flourished.
My sister-in-law had just arrived so we sat and ordered. It was a nice lunch which we ate quickly. Then on to the cemetery.
We were a little early so we set about grooming the graves a bit. A quick touch up with the weed-eater, dig up a couple of thistles, and clear off the headstones.
We opened the package and each took a pair of special eclipse-viewing glasses and put them on. Then we realised that they were too dark to be able to see normally. We took them off and found our spots to watch the eclipse. Then we put them back on.
I chose a nice bench near the edge of the cemetery. There was a tree behind me but it would not be in the way.
I looked up and found the sun. The eclipse had begun.
At first there was a small edge of the sun that darkened just a bit. Then I could see the moon moving farther into the path of the sun. As it moved across the sun the moon looked totally black.
The temperature dropped a few degrees. It was not cold but a difference was felt. The wind increased significantly. Whether the eclipse was the reason or not I have no idea. But it was windy during the eclipse.
The sun looked like a wedge of melon and then a banana. As the moon moved to the southeast the yellow of the sun with the orange edges moved from the side of the sun to the top.
Then there was a thin thin eyelash shaped yellow with orange edges on top of the sun.
We were not in the line of complete totality. We only had about 97 % eclipse here. But it was so close that I am more than satisfied. As the moon began to leave the front of the sun a large fluffy cloud moved across the whole thing.
We did not see the end of the eclipse. The cloud covered the rest of the time.
My sister-in-law went home. My son needed to go to the pharmacy so we went on to the town where it is.
As we drove that way we saw a nasty black cloud in that direction. It covered the sky as far as the eye could see and was moving quickly toward us.
By the time we got to the store the sky was dark above us. We rushed inside.
We were only there for a few minutes. When we went back outside it was beginning to rain. By the time we got in the car it was raining pretty hard.
We stopped at a nearby drive thru to grab something to drink because my mouth was dry. My window was open long enough to pay for and collect the drinks. I was soaked clear through on that side.
By the time we reached home the rain had stopped temporarily. I was glad to be in my house.
My son did get a couple of pictures of the eclipse. They turned out well.
I am grateful that we were able to see the most important parts of the eclipse. Were you able to see it?