How was the eclipse for YOU?

Just moments before totality: Some of my neighbors were SERIOUS about this thing. I found this scene when I race down the street in my truck trying to escape the shadow of a cloud.

Just moments before totality: Some of my neighbors were SERIOUS about this thing. I found this scene when I raced down the street in my truck trying to escape the shadow of a cloud.

I thought it was pretty great. The hype failed to ruin it for me, as I feared it might.

Your thoughts? Here are some of my Tweets before, during and after:

That was pre-totality. The following are post-totality…

My front walk during totality. The lights actually came on several minutes BEFORE, but didn't show up as well in that photo...

My front walk during totality. The lights actually came on several minutes BEFORE, but didn’t show up as well in that photo…

23 thoughts on “How was the eclipse for YOU?

  1. Norm Ivey

    That was just about the coolest natural phenomenon I’ve ever experienced. The neighborhood held an event at our lake (pond, really). People applauded. I don’t know why. My eldest daughter is in Nashville, which is also in the path of totality, and we were able to share the experience virtually.

    Really feel fortunate to have been able to witness it.

    Reply
  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, John Monk responded to this Tweet with disbelief:


    Well, yeah, kinda… I find such efforts to quantify faintly ridiculous. And sometimes more than faintly…

    Reply
  3. bud

    Very cool experience.

    This is something I really find hard to understand. Why would someone say it is ridiculous to try to calculate lost productivity? I see the world in terms of numbers and this kind of analysis is way cool.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, as you know, I’m not a numbers guy and don’t find them particularly delightful, particularly when applied in a manner lacking in meaning.

      Graham Newman got into the spirit of my gentle joking by reacting, “Can you imagine how much productivity such a calculation would require???”

      I reacted by saying, “And would that truly be productive? That takes us back into the realm of subjective judgments, where I am more comfortable. #notintonumbers”

      Again, sorta kinda joking.

      Math has its place. I’m impressed by the kind of math that predicted the exact time and path of the eclipse. To me, that’s about as good as math gets.

      But an assertion that “The eclipse cost X amount in lost productivity” will never be persuasive to me, because you’ll never convince me that you had enough of a handle on the, excuse me, innumerable variables for your X to have any close relation to reality.

      Also, I don’t care. Whatever the cost, I think it was worthwhile to stop and experience it…

      Reply
  4. Karen Pearson

    Bud, because the opportunity to see something most of the people in the world never see is a qualitative goal that quantification cannot put a price to? Besides, plenty of people made money over this, from renting out their houses to selling t shirts. Meanwhile my friends from Winston, NC and I watched the eclipse properly. We toasted the totality with a shot of pumpkin (should be peach, but who cares) moonshine, then lit and waved larged gold sparklers to re-ignite the sun, all while watching the amazing corona. As you can see, the sun is re-ignited and shining again. We watched the eclipse from start to several minutes after totality, and then went in because it suddenly started to rain (no cloud covering the sun, though).

    Reply
  5. scout

    It was amazing at my house. Fireflies came out and we saw a star or two. Unfortunately somebody in my neighborhood thought it was a good idea to shoot off fireworks during totality so we didnt get to observe the effects on the birds since they all were startled and flushed away. The speed at which it got dark and light again, the eerie quality of the waning light, and seeing the corona were all very surreal.

    It rained on my parents side of town, but apparently the clouds cleared for them to experience totality. Very nice.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Did you notice how some media outlets tried to make it appear that Trump was staring at the eclipse (because, you know, he’s stupid) when video showed him looking up for no more than half a second?

      Reply
      1. bud

        Come on Doug, lighten up a bit. The media is just pocking a little fun at POTUS. By even bringing this up you’re showing your excessive zeal in defending Trump. Besides the president is supposed to be a role model for the nation. The optics of that shot, looking at the sun, even for just a moment, really does show him for the complete idiot that everyone but his ardent supporters clearly understand by now. And now since we’ve basically declared war with Pakistan, in contradiction to his campaign rhetoric, is there any doubt remaining that he has no core convictions?

        Reply
        1. Claus2

          “PAKistan” or “POK-e-stan”???

          At least we’ve got a leader now who will not telegraph who, what, where, and when we’ll be attacking we should be able to get something done. Perhaps these terrorist leaders will now at least need to be looking over their shoulder instead of just scooting out of harms way before the attack rolls in.

          Reply
  6. JesseS

    Amazing experience.

    Just before totality I felt like I was in one of those old black and white B-Westerns where they used lots of unconvincing day-for-night shots. Maybe an Apache Scout would come creeping along any minute.

    One by one the frogs in the creek began croaking and the crickets fired up. Then it finally happened. One second the sun was the sun, only covered by the moon, and then the next it was some kind of obsidian jewel in the sky. Those who seemed genuinely underwhelmed one second began cheering the next and for a little more than 2 minutes the world sat still and it felt like 15 seconds.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, it was way too short to fully appreciate. We were on our back deck when totality came. I shot a few seconds of video, then ran through the house to get that picture of the lights in front of the house, returned to the deck… and it was over.

      Reply
      1. bud

        I made a conscious decision NOT to take photos. I wanted to live in the moment. I figured there would be plenty of pictures that I could claim as my own :)

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          And I had told myself I wasn’t going to take pictures, either. But during the long wait for totality, I took a few shots. One still shot was of the sidewalk lights coming on when there was still plenty of light, and another was a pan of my backyard from the deck, trying to capture that particular quality of the light when only a sliver of sun was showing.

          Then, when totality came, I thought it would be neat to repeat that pan of the backyard, for comparison. So I did. Then I thought, “Those lights in front will REALLY be showing now! So I ran to get that shot.

          Then I tried to get the sun in totality, but that was pointless without a powerful telephoto lens.

          This didn’t keep me from being in the moment enough to notice things. The sound of crickets and, I think, cicadas, but no bird sounds. The fact that the western sky was light, like just after sunset. The streetlight on the corner. The lights in my house, which I had not realized were on until the darkness…

          I thought I would have time to savor these things and others, but I didn’t…

          Reply
          1. Scout

            There is going to be one in Florida in 2045 where totality will last 6 minutes! Not fair. We need longer totality!

            Why does the amount of totality vary? All of the hype about it did not answer that question for me. But I’ve recorded the Nova from last night. Maybe it will be in there.

            Reply
            1. Bryan Caskey

              “Why does the amount of totality vary?”

              It has to do with the fact that the moon’s shadow is being cast onto a sphere, rather than a flat plane. Also the earth is spinning on its axis and how fast any particular spot on the earth spins is based on its longitude.

              Reply
  7. Bryan Caskey

    We had some friends and their kids over to our place for it. Just before totality, when there was just a sliver of sunlight left, it seemed like the sun had been hooked up to a dimmer switch.

    When totality hit, I was truly amazed. There are not many things that really exceed the hype, but totality was incredible. I can see how some people would make it their hobby to go chase total eclipses around the world.

    Very, very impressive.

    Reply

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