Eclipse 2017 at 89.3% totality in Mount Shasta.
The eclipse event occurred today and it was a pretty fascinating. My family did not make the journey up to the path of totality but we did want to observe it nonetheless. Our kids were excited, though I don’t think they really knew quite what they were excited about. My awesome wife made several preparations, including the construction of three shadow casters. She also pulled out some colanders to use as well. I went to my neighbor, who is a blacksmith, and borrowed a welding helmet and we also used some lens from other helmets to construct a viewing device. It was quite the arsenal of eclipse-viewing equipment.
Ready for the eclipse!
I had originally hoped to photograph Mount Shasta in the unusual light cast by the eclipse, but it was smoky and I ended up jettisoning that idea. However, it was not so smoky that we would not be able to see the event itself. I took the kids over to Mount Shasta Animal Hospital, where my wife is one of the veterinarians. We were joined by my parents and their four friends who just happened to be in Mount Shasta this weekend for a long-planned gathering. Along with the animal hospital staff, we had quite a viewing party. As the moon traveled between the earth and the sun, I tried taking some pictures of the eclipse through the viewing device. It didn’t work out really well, but I was able to capture the it in some fashion. The welding lens gave it a greenish appearance.
Mount Shasta was calculated to have 89.3% of the sun eclipsed. Though it never grew dark, the light dimmed considerably and the darkness-activated lights in the parking area even came on. The presence of the smoke added to the eerie feeling that was palpable to everyone. The welding mask, viewing device and shadow casters were all employed to happy effect. One unforeseen expression of the eclipse was the shadows cast on objects like cars. Dozens of small eclipse shadows added unexpected beauty. This prompted us to use the colanders to cast our own.
I made several attempts to capture the eclipse. Ultimately I discovered that, while I could not get the actual eclipse itself, I could capture the sun, which emitted an unusual corona but was also joined by a mirror image reflection of the sun and moon. It produced a rather striking image, one which I was not anticipating.
All-in-all, it was a really neat event, one that was interesting and edifying to everyone who experienced it with us! It would have been nice to see the totality or photograph Mount Shasta in the unusual light but under the circumstances, it was a memorable event just as it was! After all, there is always Eclipse 2045. Mount Shasta will be in the path of totality for that one. I bet it will be nuts here!