Solar Eclipse


W22Aug2017

The news has been shouting all about the solar eclipse for weeks. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, eager to see the unusual optical show. Where I live in Tennessee the eclipse was at 97%, allowing a good view of the sun coming and going. When it first began there were quite a few clouds and I was afraid they would totally cover the sky, but they dissipated after around half an hour, allowing the show to go on. At its height the sun was only a thin sliver, barely perceptible in the sky.

Cicadas that normally call at dusk vocalized for around 10 minutes, announcing the eerie half light that spread through my woods and onto my lawn. Birds were subdued in this dim light, not calling until the sun was halfway uncovered. Tree leaves cast odd shadows, tangling in the grass where I stood to watch the spectacle.

I managed to take some photos of the strange sun, bright orange and covered by the moon. Though maybe not possible to see on the smaller displays and lower resolution of social media, I was able to capture sunspots visible on the eclipsed sun. Although the point near totality was dramatic, I actually preferred the larger sun that looked like a surreal Pac-Man. It was as if the sun got into the spirit of our obsession for video games. But I was happy that for at least a few hours, everyone in America seemed to be watching the sky rather than a screen. Nature sometimes is too dramatic to ignore!