Country Living Series

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

So how was YOUR eclipse?

Along with the rest of the country, we looked forward to viewing yesterday's solar eclipse. Here in the north Idaho panhandle, we "only" had 92 percent coverage to anticipate.

Which is actually fine, considering the traffic jams and crazy parties that were taking place along the path of totality.



I had ordered a 10-pack of solar eclipse glasses which, unsurprisingly, did not arrive until yesterday morning, minutes before the eclipse. I called our local post office, and the postmistress said they had arrived, so Younger Daughter and I made a dash into town just as the eclipse started. We peeled off one pair of glasses so the postal workers could watch the phenomenon, then headed home, stopping at three locations to distribute glasses to neighbors -- a pair here and a couple of pairs there.


Then we got home and commenced watching the spectacle ourselves.

It's a good thing the eclipse glasses arrived when they did, because my optimistic hope that my little pocket camera could handle photographing a solar eclipse was entirely incorrect.


However by covering the camera lens with the solar glasses, I could photographic it quite well.



We were watching the chickens to see what they would do since we'd heard stories that chickens would go to roost during an eclipse, mistakenly thinking it was nighttime. As it turns out, they chickens did nothing different, because it didn't get dark.



At the peak of cover, the air did turn sickly dim, however. I tried to photograph it, but how do you photograph sickly dim air? As Younger Daughter put it, it gave us a feeling of unease, of something not quite right. Shadows were still as sharp, but dimmer. Dim shadows are just plain weird.



We also noticed birds had gone utterly silent. So did the crickets. The unnatural silence contributed to that vague uneasiness we felt.


Temperatures also dropped by about ten degrees. At peak coverage, the temp was 61F.


Afterward, the temp popped up to 71F.


(We couldn't use our wall thermometer during the eclipse since it gets the morning sun and isn't accurate during this time.)

Coverage peaked, then gradually waned.






Our experience wasn't nearly as dramatic as those in the path of totality, but it was still pretty nifty.


So how was your eclipse?

28 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what our percentage was but we are only an hour from Madras which is in the path of totality. It sure looked like it was completely covered. And yes, it got dark and was extremely eerie. We could hear people cheering from various locations as the sun was blotted out. Just wow!

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  2. We got all set up in the back yard. Welding helmets and Maverick freeby eclipse glasses all ready to go. Cool drinks in hand and wouldn't you know it, just our luck, the moon got in the way and messed up the whole thing. Very disappointing. I may not even live till the next chance to see an eclipse. Frustrating!!

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  3. we only had about 70% here in north Texas. The coolest thing was in the shade of an Oak tree leading into the chicken yard. There were hundreds of tiny crescents on the ground. The gaps in the leaves made a bunch of pin hole cameras which projected about 1.5 inch photos on the ground. Very cool!

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    1. Hello Steve in N Texas. From another N Texan Patrice blog follower. :)

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  4. My phone camera couldn't see the eclipse directly, but we noticed the lens flare *was* eclipse shaped. That was kinda neat.

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  5. Not overly exciting here in Alberta, but still went to watch it. Was cool too see it through the solar glasses. Definitely noticed the temperature change but that was about it.

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  6. Southern Minnesota was under thick clouds and a big thunderstorm. I would have completely forgotten about it except our oldest son called from Idaho at the moment of totality and we talked for a few minutes. He said it was a great experience. We saw a total lunar eclipse in Utah in early to mid 00's.

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  7. A complete Dud!!! So glad I couldn't find glasses these past 3 weeks. Here on the left coast, in grape country, we have this summer thing called fog. Great for the grapes, crappy for an eclipse. So thank you for the beautiful pictures!

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  8. Its Fogust didnt see anything. Besides it rained. Typical north island weather.

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  9. We live in Alaska, so not visible from here. There were lots of flaky people saying their dogs and other animals were acting "funny", but seriously, if you can't see it, just another normal day. Everything was "as usual" where we live.

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  10. An excuse for a tailgate party? OK, I get that. Otherwise it is just another frivolous pursuit in my book.
    Montana Guy

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  11. Not as dramatic here in South Texas, but I know what you mean when you say "not quite right". Lowered our typically awful August temps a bit.

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  12. Living in northern North Carolina, we drove five hours to Columbia, South Carolina and tailgated at the State Fair Grounds. During totality, people around us were hooting and hollering and shouting and blowing the car horns, playing the theme song from 2001: Odyssey. The whole 2.5 minute experience was very "primitive". I can now understand why our early ancestors made sacrifices to the Gods during eclipses.

    We waited until the traffic jam eased up only to be caught in even worse traffic on I77. Google maps took us through back roads until we were about 33 miles from Charlotte when we could no longer avoid the stop and go traffic on I77. Traffic was bad until we got north of Kanappolis, NC where the interstate had four lanes. The drive home took seven hours.

    12 hours of driving for 2.5 minutes of excitement was a little extreme, but the beauty was unequaled and not to be missed. It was also something I wanted my 72 year old mother to experience before she leaves this Earth for her heavenly home.

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  13. North Idaho here and we got about what you got. My neighbor used his welding helmet, his wife welding goggles and I a welding lens. When we had the most coverage the temps did drop. Just the 3 of us in front of our mail boxes. I would have never survived the traffic thing even though I have a sister that lives in the totality band.

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  14. I'm in Salem, Oregon. The news was that we would be inundated with up to 5 times our normal occupancy for the whole weekend. Our little neighborhood (we're all pretty close and friendly) all agreed in advance to stay put all weekend. We planned meals together, many of us had relatives stay over and we had a long block party for the kids with a bouncy house and lots of outdoor activities. Monday morning we all headed out to the street to eat breakfast together and watch the eclipse as a group. We live near the airport and from the time we awoke there was a constant buzz of aircraft of all sorts flying over our backyard. We saw everything from strange prototypes to hot air balloons, and much larger passenger jets than Salem usually sees.

    Not going to lie. I was absolutely blown away by the eclipse. I thought it would be "pretty nifty" too. But when totality hit I was speechless. Taking off the glasses and looking around and up at stars and planets it was absolutely surreal, thrilling and awe-inspiring. Not to mention quite chilly. Totality was entirely too short. Couldn't wrap my mind around it in the time I had, but I'll never forget it.

    We live less than a mile off of I-5 and can always hear the traffic. We noticed that not only did the birds quiet and the streetlights came on, but for a couple minutes before and until totality ended we didn't hear a thing from the freeway.

    The funny thing was that here and in Lincoln City the crowds and chaos that were predicted never really arrived. We were all stocked up, but I'm hearing that the local restaurants had larders full with nobody to eat. It was actually eerily quiet on the main streets near our home. I think most Salemites planned like we did to stay home and avoid the mess.

    The hotels were supposedly all booked out for months in advance and we knew people who rented their homes out for thousands of dollars a night, but at the last minute a vast majority of reservations and travel plans were cancelled. I think all the news hype got to a lot of the travelers. Many of them finally arrived, but not until Sunday evening or Monday morning.

    Nothing about the experience was what I expected. I am still thinking about totality off and on and our neighbors agree with us that we now understand why people fly around the world chasing eclipses. Nothing else like it.

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    1. Concur. Nothing else like it. We were just north of Salem. Hadn't planned on coming but were in area for another reason and thought, why not.

      So glad we did. Had to drive south later that afternoon -- 5+ hours to drive the 100 miles to Eugene. Still worth it.

      It should be on everyone's bucket list. Words can't describe. There is definitely a difference between partial and totality. As my son said "total or nothing"

      Texas 2024 -- whatever it takes -- be there!

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    2. So glad you made it to the Willamette Valley for the fun! We've been tossing around the idea of going to Texas in 2024 too! Haha!

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  15. we in Tennessee got to experience God's glory.
    in 7 years I might drive a couple of hours to see the next one.

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    1. I live in Southern Illinois near Carbondale. We got a great view. It's definitely an unforgettable experience.

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    2. You will also be getting another total eclipse very soon, our house guests told us that it would be coming your way in 2024. Am halfway kinda planning a road trip to your neck of the woods for it, although time will tell if it comes to fruition.

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  16. Was in Madras and was able to capture some great video on the telescope of the eclipse and on a second camera that I setup to catch my family's reaction. About a minute before the totality the birds started to roost and it got very quiet. Just after totality the silence was broken by my neighbor's rooster and things went back to normal. It did drop 4 degrees during the eclipse but went back up pretty fast.

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  17. Central OH only had about 86% totality. It was also kind of cloudy, so it was difficult to tell how much of the darkness was the eclipse or the clouds. I watched on line (NASA) and TV. Didn't have glasses. The next eclipse path has full totality in NE OH, where I have family, so I may make the trip up there for that one, as I would have plenty of options of where to stay.

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    1. I live in Southern Illinois. The next one is going to cross when the longest point of totality was for this one. We had a great view and enjoyed it. Totally was awesome!

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  18. Sickly dim, that is the perfect description! It just felt weird. I'm wishing I had had the forethought to order some glasses, like, months ago. I could have made fat bank!! Everyone on the FB shop/swap groups was looking for them :D

    Redoubt Renee

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  19. LOL. Ours was quite similar to yours, except here we only experienced about 85% totality and our glasses showed up two days before.

    I tried having a "history and human behavior" talk with our teenager. She still couldn't understand why people would flip out over anything less than a total eclipse.

    She DID notice the change in the quality of the light, but her take on it was, "This is great!! The colors are amazing!! I think I'm gonna see if I can figure out how to paint this!! I wish it could be like this every day!!"

    Admittedly-- I won't use the phrase "I wish," because I have some idea what kind of consequences that would have. But the light WAS beautiful, and the coolness was a delightful blessing.

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  20. We were in the path of totality, and it was really neat, our very yappy chihuahua actually calmed down, laid down in my arms and started napping when it got so dark that a star could be seen. This is the first total eclipse I have seen and it was really very cool.

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  21. At the time of the eclipse,I was driving my brother-in-law to Seattle for oddly enough,cataract removal in his left eye. I noted that eerie dim shadow though. it definitely felt strange.

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