It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Monday, May 21, 2012

Solar Eclipse Excitement

Last night at 6.15 p.m.
A beautiful evening... clear and warm.
I waited with my camera.
Thunderheads were forming all day to the east.
To the south, the sun still lit the hills.
I was waiting for THE ECLIPSE.
 I waited for the sun to darken and watch everything become shrouded in eeriness . It was suppose to happen very soon... within fifteen minutes or so.
The Sacramento news folks were doing their usual overkill on this solar event.
They spent the whole new program talking about the eclipse and all the do's and don'ts to watching this amazing event. It worked. They got me really excited about the whole thing and because I didn't have smoked glass or special lenses to look directly at the sun, I thought that I would photograph the "darkening of the world" here at home.
As I have said before, we don't see sunsets from our place. We are on the east side of the hills facing East.
We only see sunrises. So, I waited.
Finally, I couldn't stand all the sitting and waiting and wanted to have fun like everyone on TV. I decided to drive to a point were I could see the sun. I drove into town and down highway 88 to a ridge were I could see to the west. I was also looking for what the experts said were shadow reflections of the eclipse on a wall. As I went through town, I spotted a tree that was casting a big clear shadow on the wall of our Post Office. It stood out from the road.  I pulled into the parking lot, got out and took some photos of  the tree and the shadow.
It was an exceptionally clear shadow and there was one branch that seemed to reflect light more than the others. I got closer and that was when I saw the crescents. The whole shadow of this branch (not the others) was covered with crescent shaped reflections.
Look closely...
I don't know why this was the only branch. I didn't even get a really clear photo of it. But the other shadows of other branches didn't have these little crescent, bird like reflections within the shadow of the leaves. Only this branch had the light shinning through its leaves. I'm not talking about the shape of the leaf shadow, but the small, sun lit, bird shape crescents in the dark areas. That is the Sun, with the moon eclipsing it . This one branch shadow sparkled compared to the rest of the shadows.
If you look at the first photo again, you can see that the branch that I'm talking about is fully in the sunlight. I guess that this is what they were talking about when they said that you could see the eclipse in some shadows. This site has some great information about the eclipse and shows some photos of the crescent reflections too. It also has some wonderful animated pictures of how an eclipse happens and why.
When I turned around in a cemetery up on the ridge, I got out and took a picture of my shadow. The news folks talked about how there were "auras" around some folk's shadows during the eclipse, so I wanted to see  
~my aura~

I didn't see any AURA, but I liked the fact that I looked SKINNY.  So indulge me on this one photo because it will be a cold day in hell before I ever look this skinny again.
As I drove out of the cemetery I aimed the camera at the sun (not looking directly at it) and took some photos.
When I got home I downloaded them and these are some of the photos that resulted from my blind camera action.
Both of these two photos were taken with the road as perspective. The photo above has a funny little rainbow reflection like yours TERI. Maybe it was really there. We have proof...caught on camera.







The last two were cropped in Picasa 3, my photo storage and editing program.  I was trying to see the eclipse. I didn't see it.
 What I see is a very beautiful center of our solar system. This amazing orb that is suspended in space.
Sometimes, when I really think about where we are and the immensity of the universe, it scares me..... but it also fills me with wonder. I think that whatever we do to try and make sense out of all this, giving it meaning and trying to understand, only helps calm our fears. We can't really know.
There is so much more to this world, this solar system, this universe, than we can ever know and we are a very tiny part of the whole.
Some of this thinking is scary and makes me feel like one of the photos that I changed to infrared. Infrared is, the dictionary says,  "using radiation having wavelengths longer than those of red light."
I believe it!
Now that's what I call an Aura.
And this...
What do you think? And what is that bump on both photos? An explosion on the sun? An expression of  anger from the insulted power of our solar system.
SUN probably didn't like the moon coming between itself and the Earth. Maybe it was upset and blew off some steam.
I have no idea. I only know that I wasn't really all that impressed with THE ECLIPSE until I saw these last two photos.
That SUN is a force to be reckoned with .
I never really saw the whole thing, but I don't think the Sun was happy about it.



6 comments:

castlewon said...

We hauled our welder's goggles out of the basement and watched from the front porch. Pretty soon we had a little gathering of neighbors, and yes, we also marveled at the crescent shadows. None of us noticed getting any skinnier, though :-)

joanne said...

those are amazing photos. The shadows in the tree...I see the shapes, the sun. And those last two are terrific. They kinda scare me, the power, the beauty, oh my, we are so small...it is incredible and we know so very little don't we..;j

Madeline's Album said...

Great Post!!!The photos are terrific. Have a blessed day. Madeline

Brian Miller said...

the sun has a pimple...smiles...haha...i hear you on the wonder at how big it all is...did not get to see it...i rather like the infrared versions...and that is pretty cool on the crescent shadows...

Nancy K. said...

FASCINATING!

I love the infra-red photos.

Roslyn said...

My son & I planned to see it.........but at the last moment we forgot, at least you got SOMETHING to show for your efforts!