Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that there was a solar eclipse of the sun this past August 21st. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth. The moon appears to completely cover the disk of the sun and blocks it’s light. The moon casts a shadow, causing an eerie twilight on plant earth.
As always, we were behind the eight ball in getting our act together for eclipse viewing, although the grandkids did have adorable eclipse shirts to wear. I had ordered glasses back in June but never gave a thought as to taking photographs until a week before. At that point, all of the special camera solar lenses required for taking photos had long been sold out. I did find some solar lens filter paper, which was backordered and would not arrive until after the eclipse. I decided to go ahead and order the special paper. Lo and behold, the paper arrived at noon on the day of the eclipse! My son, who has MacGyver talents, rigged up a solar filter for his camera utilizing the solar lens paper, a plastic food container, cardboard and duct tape! He captured some amazing photos!
We were not fortunate enough to live in the path of totality, but it was still a very exciting couple of hours as we donned our “official eclipse viewing glasses” and watched the moon cover the sun. My oldest granddaughter was mesmerized by this rare occurrence while the younger granddaughter was more interested in visiting the cows in their pens (we watched the eclipse at my son-in-law’s family farm). Our baby grandson enjoyed “eating” his glasses. I spent most of the time admonishing everyone, “Don’t look into the sun without your special glasses.”
I don’t remember much about prior solar eclipses; I suspect that because there was no internet and mass media coverage back then, this just was not something that captured our attention. I do know that over twenty years ago there was some kind of sun activity, although it wasn’t an eclipse because our neighbor was gazing up at the sky wearing a welder’s mask and invited my son to peer as well.
Needless to say, we are hooked on solar eclipses. The next total eclipse for North America will come on April 8, 2024 and our area is in the path of totality and I am hoping that I will still be alive and kicking to watch – and – take photos.
Eclipse photos by Dan Pollock –
- photo of Pam by Joanna Fassinger of Joanna Fassinger Photography -