I'm posting late today because I wanted to post photos of the eclipse. This is almost Real Time. Think of me as the news.
I've been looking forward to the eclipse for six or eight months. I live some miles north of the path of totality — the area where the moon totally covers the face of the sun. I had to drive about seven hours to get to my sun-watching site.
I'm in western Virginia, so the nearest point to the totality was past Asheviile, North Carolina. Where to stay? Where to stand and actually watch the eclipse?
Researching on the internet I found a celebration of
the eclipse in the town of Cherokee on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. There would be dancing and stories. How could I resist?
I was driving down with friends so I needed somewhere largish for us to stay. I found a most wonderful place … an old house that had been converted into a meditational center in Lake Junaluska. A century-old house, quiet and dignified and charming. That's the house above. Here's the lake.
Early in the morning we left Lake J and headed to Cherokee through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
In Cherokee we passed the war memorial, with the names of all who had served. Also a tank.
We found a spot under the trees and listened to many bands; ate American Indian tacos; heard a Cherokee myth about the invention of the flute; ate fried bread; and listened to drumming and dancing, including bear dancing. We took a walk by the river, which is more stunning than the picture would have you believe.
We did all this because you cannot just say, "Let's have the eclipse now," and expect it to happen. We had to wait.
In the fullness of time we saw the first indications that the sun was being eaten by the moon. Eaten by a Great Frog as the Cherokee myth might go. First a nibble. then a larger slice. Takes a while.
As everyone in the US who is not living under a rock knows, one does not look directly at the sun
during an eclipse. Or anytime, really. One wears little goggles as if one were watching a 3-D movie. These are mine.
The most exciting thing about them is that they didn't actually SAY they were government approved, but they did block out all light when you put them on and scanned the countryside, so I took the chance.
The eclipse began. The light filtering through the leaves of the trees showed the smile of the sun and the shadow of the moon. Lovely.
Slowly the disk of the sun was covered by the moon. At totality the sun hangs in the sky like a great black rock surrounded by fire. That lasts about two minutes. The countryside is covered with the darkness of late sunset. (I didn't notice any change in animals behavior because of the aforementioned rock music.)
The shadow of the moon passes and a brilliant light flares, like the white sparkle of fireworks. Slowly, the sun returns.
My eclipse. So cool. So much worth the drive.
Have you ever seen an eclipse?
Where and when.
Cool or not cool?