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Eclipse Viewing - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Eclipse Viewing
Today we drove down to Chester, Illinois to watch the eclipse.  As you can tell from the decorations, this is the home of Popeye and where we went to the Popeye Festival.  I really enjoyed going back to a familiar place for this event.  I'm starting to get a real soft spot for Chester.  We stopped at Spinach Can Collectibles to get a map of town (because of their statue trail) and parks.  Right beside it is a pocket park, Chester Square Gazebo Park.


This is a memorial in Gazebo Park.  As you can see, it was a bright sunny day despite warnings of cloud cover.  ;)  You're welcome.
This is a memorial in the Chester park.

The Thimble Theatre mural covers most of the wall on the right looking into the park.
This Thimble Theater mural is on the righthand wall facing into the park.

This is one of my early attempts at photographing shadows.  During an eclipse, any pinhole will cast a crescent, which basically turns every tree into an eclipse camera.
This is my first attempt at photographing crescent shadows under trees.

Bluto appears on the left wall of the park.
This painting of Bluto is on the lefthand wall looking into the park.

Here are Popeye and friends.
This painting of Popeye and friends is on the lefthand wall looking into the park.

These crescent shadows are under a bush in the park.
Here you can see crescents amongst the shadows of this bush.

I think Doug found the best photo op of the day.
This is a statue of Wimpy in the park.

Look, someone put sunglasses on Wimpy!  8D  We also had special glasses for viewing the eclipse, which I got in the Indiana Caverns gift shop last month.  These are the best eclipse glasses I've ever had, with lenses so dark that the sun was reduced to a dim orange sliver and perfectly comfortable to look at.  Previous ones I've had only made it bearable briefly.  To test for quality, hold a pair so the sunlight falls on them and look underneath.  If much light comes through at all, they're too weak.  You couldn't even see the corona through these, only the crescent, they're so strong.
Notice that someone has put sunglasses on Wimpy.

You can also make a hand camera.  Pinch your thumbs and forefingers, then press all four together and squeeze until you make a pinhole.  Normally it shows a circle of light, but during an eclipse, it will cast a crescent like this.
PICT0016.JPG

After this we got back in the car and moved to the Cohen Recreational Complex, which had a lot of people and some vendors set up.

Here is Doug catching crescents in his palm under a tree.
Doug is holding crescents under a tree in the ball park.

This was one of my attempts to catch crescents under a tree on gravel.
I tried again to catch tree crescents but this is the only good one from that batch.

By this point, the sky was starting to darken.  Here's a look at the pasture beyond the ball park.
This is the ball park starting to darken just before totality.

And this is the same view minutes later during totality.  Woohoo!  It didn't get pitch dark but did turn to strong twilight.  The cicadas toned down their chorus, thinking that night was falling.  However, we didn't get the WTF chorus from evening birds.
This is the ball park in totality with the flash off.

I tried shooting a few pictures of the corona and sky.  This is the only one that turned out very well.  That bright spark to the right of the sun is Sirius, which was clearly visible.  So were a few other stars.
That spark to the right of the sun is Sirius.

Come on, baby, if you love it, put a ring on it!  <3  Yes, we got to see the diamond ring.  I guess the sun loves me.  :D

This is the souvenir disk that I bought.  The orange crescent on the rim is made with glow-in-the-dark paint.  I took this out in the sun before, during, and after totality so this thing is now a portable eclipse for magical purposes.  I also brought along a goldtone dollar coin and charged it the same way.
This is my souvenir disk.

This is the shadow cast by the souvenir disk.
This is the shadow of my souvenir disk.

I got some pretty good crescents on this car bumper shortly after totality.
I caught some pretty good crescents on this car bumper.

Then I saw this pine tree and went nuts because of how its shadows look bent.  The effect of an eclipse through pine needles is very different than broadleaves and I had never seen it before.  :D
Then I found this pine tree and became fascinated with how its shadows looked bent.

Here's a good shot of the bent-looking shadows.
This view shows some of the crescents and bent-looking shadows.

This is the best one of the crescents.
This is the best shot of the crescents under the pine tree.

The ball park has little clusters of exercise equipment scattered around.  It's like a little slice of Terramagne.  \o/
The ball park has little clusters of exercise equipment scattered around.

These shadows are under a different type of tree in the parking lot.
Here&apos;s a look at shadows under a different tree as the eclipse recedes.

One last shot of the hand camera and departing cresent.
One last look at the hand camera before leaving the ball park.

This turned into a totally awesome trip and we're really glad that we went.  The traffic was bad on the way down and terrible on the way home, but we made it through okay.

I kept seeing these pretty bushes with pink flowers; I think they were crape myrtle.

For supper we stopped in Effingham at Iron Skillet.  It's a little overpriced, but has quite tasty food.  I loved the fish basket and the no-sugar-added apple pie.  <3

You can read one of my eclipse poems here.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
pronker From: pronker Date: August 22nd, 2017 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Wasn't it glorious!! Your pix give an immediate sense of being there, good for you. Here we had a partial eclise, such as a thin crescent moon and a neighbor had glasses to share. Also, I looked through a colander for a neat little effect of crescents. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 22nd, 2017 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>Wasn't it glorious!! <<

Totally.

>> Your pix give an immediate sense of being there, good for you. <<

Yay! 8D

>>Here we had a partial eclise, such as a thin crescent moon and a neighbor had glasses to share. Also, I looked through a colander for a neat little effect of crescents. :) <<

I have not thought of a colander. I should try that some time. Or punch holes in a card to make an interesting pattern.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 22nd, 2017 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
You're lucky--we had thick cloud cover during the entire time.
:^}
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 22nd, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

I'm very grateful for the perfect viewing conditions.

I also had two backup plans to minimize disappointment.

1) Weather-witching. With broken clouds, it's easier to steer them around. Breaking up a solid sky of clouds or clear is much harder.

2) The coin. The metal disk we just plain lucked into from a very astute metalworker selling souvenirs. I brought the coin to charge with eclipse energy, which is something that works even if the sun is not visible to the naked eye -- the energy is still in effect and can be saved for use in later spells or rituals. Once you have an item charged with a particular event like that, it basically becomes a permanent magical artifact. So I had a way to get something concrete and useful out of the trip, even if the sun didn't show.
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