Just as the sun slowly set and then rose again behind the new moon, we are still basking in the afterglow of yesterday’s solar eclipse. Or is it the after-dark? By we, I mean both individually and collectively, the individual participants and the community as a whole. It was our moment in the sun, sort of speak.
As you can see, I’ve been busy at processing photos. Above, I’ve constructed my version of the iconic collage that distills the eclipse into one picture. Below, I’ve further refined a GoPro time-lapse of a 1000+ shots, into just one photograph. In the foreground and in the dark are the five of us. Left-to-right are Dan, Mary, Bill, myself and Anne. Behind us you can see, but really it is all around us, the 360º glow of a surrounding sunrise/sunset. We’re on a fleeting island of darkness that is transiting quickly to the east and soon will all be voted off of it. Finally, shown is the real reason that the colander was at hand. It wasn’t there to save me from alien mind control rays. Although, it functioned well at that. It also served nicely as a pretty sweet pinhole camera array.
After the eclipse was all over, we bade farewell to Dan and Mary and charged the gathered throng that was already ensconced on the highway. Remember the collective aspect of the eclipse? It was stop-and-go all the way back to the Lou. We treated Bill to Ted Drew’s and then took him to South Grand for dinner. We ate at a new to us Thai place, that was only so-so. This morning, we sent him packing by way of Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. It was good having him visit us and it was great sharing the eclipse experience with people that we know.
Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him. – Annie Dillard
It was hot, hot, hot, but it was really cool too! Anne, Bill and I ended up heading southwest to Pacific and partied with our hosts, Dan & Mary. We had a plethora of eclipse viewing equipment, cameras, telescope, binoculars and tons of cheap cardboard eclipse glasses. Waiting for the solar eclipse to begin seemed to take forever and while waiting we fretted every passing cloud, but in the end all was well. Once the eclipse began, there was still a long wait, as the moon ate more and more of the sun. The sun went from a full disk, to one with a tiny nibble out of it, then a bite, then it turned into a crescent sun, a sliver and then it was gone. We ripped our glasses off, removed our solar filters and there it was, a glowing corona, with a black hole in the center. Just like it is in all of the photos. The streetlights came on, neighbors screamed and the world around us was bathed in an otherworldly light. I didn’t take as many photos as I had in 1979, but instead spent more time looking at the event. Our two and a half minutes of totality came and went all too fast, but it was still awesome.
The forces of darkness are gathering, by which I mean clouds. Tomorrow is the big day, eclipse day. Mister Bill arrived, so our company is now complete, plus our eclipse viewing gear is pack. We’re all ready to go, except for the clouds. The forecasts have been iffy, but we’ll wait and hope for good news in the latest and greatest forecasts, both tonight’s and tomorrow morning’s. Lt. Dan invited us to his Pacific drive, but Illinois is forecasted to be clearer. I’m hoping for a view of the sun something like what is shown below. I used my camera, grad filter and a pair of lenses from a cannibalized pair of eclipsed glasses. A little blurry, but it should work well enough to see the day’s Pacman show. If only the clouds would go away. We toured Bill through Forest Park, until it got too hot. Then we all went to dinner in the Loop, at Blueberry Hill. The Loop and Hill were hopping and the Hill is not just another cowboy bar, don’t you know.