Saturday, September 2, 2017

TOTALITY

I finally put together the story of The 2017 Eclipse from our house.  Thanks to Cindy and Ann for sharing photos.


There were twenty people in our back yard -- give or take five or six – on the morning of August 21, 2017.

Gordon had a Dutch oven full of riblets he was barbecuing for lunch.

Bob had his smoker ready for another rack of ribs.

I was working on getting a once-in-a-lifetime photo or two.

And everybody had their stare-at-the-sun glasses.

EVERYBODY. Some even had more than one pair.

Then at around ten a.m. we could see the shadow of the moon cut a notch out of the sun.

It was super exciting.

The neighbors brought over a shamrock plant to see if it would fold up like it does when evening comes.

Time passed.

And the moon and sun moved more.

We continued to watch.

However, it was difficult to tell if everyone was truly focused on the event.

We put paper down on the grass so we could watch for the eclipse shadow bands https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_bands
and also use it to show up the effect of our pinhole cameras.

We began to notice a weird darkness and there was a marked cooling of temperature.

The light shining through openings such as tree leaves turned from round to crescent.

Bob and Gordon kept one eye on the sky and the other on the barbecue.

Some tried looking through Gordon’s welder helmet to see what that was like.

Most were glad to pose for a “look amazed” photograph. Some, not so much.

The sky got darker and the air got cooler.

Almost totality!

Darker, colder. The shamrock started to fold up. The street light came on.

Cindy yelled, “shadow bands!” and then,

The Diamond Ring! We could see stars!

I was so excited I took two photos of total darkness before I remembered to take off the filter.

Corona

Solar flares

And in less than two minutes the sun began to reappear.

Then the sun and moon began to part ways.

The ribs were ready and so was the Dutch oven cobbler.

Warm sunshine returned.

The table was spread.

Everyone helped themselves to the picnic.

Nobody went hungry.

John and his friend stopped by. They’d chosen the rim of the Menan Butte to see the show. They’d also seen the shadow rushing across the land toward them.

After totality most out-of-towners hurried to leave hoping to beat the crowds so the highways turned into parking lots.

John, and Ann and her family tried to get to Utah but traffic south was bottle-necked into a crawl. The Simiskeys gave up and went back to stay overnight with Cindy in Idaho Falls. They made the trip to Logan the next morning just fine. 

John and his friend hung in for the duration and didn’t get to Salt Lake City until after midnight.

Friday, August 18, 2017

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?
It's the final countdown.--Europe

Less than three days until the path of totality of Eclipse America passes over our town. I still can’t help wonder if it isn’t over-hyped fake news.

But there are big preparations for an invasion of apocalyptic magnitude here anyway. Reports from Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming are that hoards are arriving and backing up traffic for miles.

Here, not yet. 
No one has to stand in line for early morning donuts, made fresh daily.

Local businesses are extending hours and some which are usually closed on Sunday will open their doors to provide for the anticipated crowds of shoppers.

This probably has nothing to do with a solar eclipse but there are appearances of painted rocks in random places around town. Just a fun way to occupy those who have extra time on their hands in the summer.

The city decided months ago on an upgrade to Center Street and Main. They’ve replaced water lines, widened sidewalks and plan to put in new trees. "We are hoping the revitalization will attract more foot traffic and businesses," the mayor said. I think the plan was to have the construction crews out and the street paved by Eclipse Day.

They’re going to have to put in some overtime to make that deadline.

However, other construction and paving projects are finished and look great. Our own destroyed street is not included in that group.

The flowers which are placed on Main Street every year are at their peak.

This photo is added because I just liked the shadows cast by early morning sun.

Another non-eclipse photo. This one is of the big antique steam tractor in one of our parks. It’s a monument to the pioneer farmers who broke up the fertile ground covered with sagebrush, planted wheat and potatoes, and make this valley prosper.

These signs are everywhere.  All first responders are on high alert.

In our newest park the Vendor Village is gearing up for a weekend of business. Visitors and locals will have plenty of opportunity to shop in the perfect summer weather. Partly cloudy is the forecast for Eclipse Day. Hoping the only shadows from the sky cast on that morning will be from the moon.

Friday, August 11, 2017

PRACTICING FOR THE APOC-ECLIPSE

Our little town in Idaho is smack dab in the path of totality of the Total Solar Eclipse USA 2017.  We've been inundated with info and warnings for months.  All rooms are sold out including Air B&B's.  Did we ask for this? NO.  Although I admit it IS exciting to think of being able to view the show from the comfort of our own backyard with cold drinks available in our fridge and the aroma of barbecue in the air.  Yes, we're hosting an Eclipse Party.

In anticipation I've purchased a solar filter for my camera and have been playing around with shooting the sun.  

This one is a sample of over-exposure on a clear day before being nearly socked in by wildfire smoke.

This one is under-exposed with smoke.  Can't move the smoke any more than we can move the sun.

This one looks okay to me, even with smoke.  Hope the air clears before the big day, but even if it rains we'll be glad the air is being cleaned out and we'll just move the party inside.

Special thanks to the firefighters for all they do to save timber, wildlife and property at the risk of their own lives.


Monday, July 31, 2017

MUTTON BUSTIN'

Our town hosts an amateur rodeo on the weekend of July 4th at the County Fairgrounds just a couple of blocks from our house.

The beginning event is the Mutton Bustin’ which is kids riding sheep.  There aren’t many rules.  The main goal is to stay on the sheep as long as possible.

If you’re lucky a rodeo clown will catch you before you bite the dust.


 If you’re not so lucky…

 …the clown misses.

 Even a cowgirl with a pink helmet gives it a shot and comes out with a very high score.

 My favorite was this guy.  He had a look of grim determination and he hung on with just one hand for most of his long ride.

The sheep bucked and ran so fast the poor clown was seriously challenged to keep up.

 But he was there for the catch when the ride ended almost at the fence.

 The young man walked back past the rodeo princess with his prize money and got a big high five from the judge.