The Lifestyle Digs

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

There’s been all this hype in the media about the great black out solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. The moon will cross the sun’s path, and depending on where you are this could be a full eclipse or a partial eclipse, beginning shortly after 9am and completely blocking the sun around 10:20am.

Oregon was hugely in the news with tens of thousands of people converging on the state where there was supposed to be the best viewing of the total eclipse.There was an projected path across the United States from the west coast to the east coast for optimal viewing of the full solar eclipse. People in other parts of the country would get a partial eclipse. Around the Vancouver, British Columbia area it was a 90% eclipse.

All kinds of warnings about don’t look at the sun or you’ll go blind. Even if you’re wearing sunglasses, no good. Really crazy because I think most people their natural inclination would be to look at the sun if the moon is blocking it, to see what it looks like. There were special solar eclipse glasses that people could purchase in advance that would allow them to safely look at the sun. And then news stores about counterfeit solar eclipse glasses that were dangerous to view the sun.

All only a little bit interesting to me. The moon blocking the sun isn’t enough for me to drive down to Oregon or buy special cardboard glasses to view the eclipse.

For me, the great solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was a non-event. Other than I’m blaming the eclipse for sucking out my brain cells.

On August 21, 2017, I did most of my usual morning routine, but decided not to ride my bike, like I usually do for my morning exercise. I didn’t want to get caught out somewhere when my world turns mostly black due to the sun being blocked. I packed up the car with my horse’s feed tubs, loaded up the dogs, grabbed my camera bag and purse, and away we went to the farm around 9am. The eclipse would be starting shortly and I wanted to get my horses and dogs inside the barn because I’d heard the eclipse could be bad for animals. You know, if they look at the sun they might go blind.

I get a few blocks down the road and glance at my purse. The back compartment where I keep my house keys is open. Why didn’t I zip it? I put my hand inside the compartment and feel around.

No keys!

I’ve locked myself out of the house!

I turn around and head home. My landlords are a lovely couple and I saw her putting her laundry on the clothesline as I drove out. Her husband’s at work. They have a spare key, so I want to get back in my house and grab my keys. Failing that, I don’t want her to lock the gate when she goes out because me and my car and my dogs will be on the wrong side of the gate.

As luck would have it, today’s the day her husband decides to make a spare key and has taken the only key they have with him to work! Which we discovered after she searched for it, couldn’t find it, and called him.

I asked her to leave the gate unlocked. I’d be home in a couple of hours and could sit on my porch swing and read my book. Fortunately I had my iPad in my purse! After this 20 minute or so delay, I get going to the farm.

After I set out my horses feed tubs, I’m kind of curious about the sun and how the eclipse is doing. I’m hesitant to bring my camera, a Canon Rebel 6ts, because I read that pointing a camera at the sun might burn out its lens. I play it safe and take my iPhone with me to snap a few shots and find out how the eclipse is doing. The barn has a large loafing area for the horses to get out of the weather, and I’m well shaded. I also figure I’d rather destroy my phone taking pictures instead of my camera, if something bad happens.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

Here’s the first photo I take of the sun at 10 am on August 21, 2017 when the eclipse should be well under way. It doesn’t look like anything’s going on to me. I can see that sun pretty good without any moon blocking and shading it. I decide to wait a few more minutes.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

Here’s a photo of the sun taken at 10:06 am on August 21, 2017. Slightly different angle and still doesn’t look like much is going on.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

I took this photo at 10:08. Caught some of the roof overhang, because I’m trying to take photos in the shade.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

And then the photo at 10:15. Everything still looks about the same.

Now one of my horses is acting a little weird. Seeing as how I had the back door to the barn open, when he was done eating his grain, he walked out. There’s a big dirt patch the horses like to roll in and my Appaloosa, Whistler, is down in it. He’s finished his roll and his legs are stretched out straight in front of him. Usually this is when he gets up and shakes the dirt off. But now, he’s doing a pawing motion in the dirt. He does that for 15 or 20 seconds and then starts rolling again.

Seeing as how the time has come when the total solar eclipse is happening, and according to the photography articles I read, this is when it’s safe to use a camera to take photos.

I set my camera up, still somewhat unwilling to look in the direction of the sun through the lens and hope by randomly snapping a photo, it’ll turn out OK.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

I take a picture of a bird. Missed the sun!

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

OK got the sun now and the full eclipse that should be happening. And remember, this is my good camera. Not the iPhone.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

Seem to have picked up some sun blotches in this one. You know, if I look real closely, I can almost convince myself that there’s a slightly darker edge to the sun where the sunbeams are shooting out of.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

And this is pretty much the same shot, sun blotches, and using my imagination that there’s a darker edge around the sun.

One thing I am noticing around now is that the temperature has dropped. It’s a good decrease by several degrees. When the sun is out like this it should be beating down on us pretty hot. It was noticeably cooler. That’s the only thing that suggested to me the moon might really be blocking the sun. I also noticed when I aimed the camera right up at the sun, it refused to snap a photo. Must be some kind of safety feature.

The area was not plunged into darkness. Not even close. I’d have never known there was an eclipse of the sun going on today except it was all over the news.

I put my camera away, and grabbed the iPhone again. Enjoy these photos of my horses during the prime time of the solar eclipse of the sun.

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

Solar Eclipse August 21 2017 near Vancouver, British Columbia

I head back inside the barn where I have a camp chair set up and to read my book for awhile before heading home. There’s no hurry because I’ve locked myself out of my house!

My landlord texts me at 10:55 to say he’s unlocked my door and hidden a spare key. What a nice guy to come home from work (it’s nearby) and take care of that for me!

By now the temperature is getting hotter. I assume the sun is passing through the sun, though it’s really hard to tell by looking at the sky.

After I arrive home I download the photos from my camera and then reach for my purse to grab my iPhone to send them to my computer.

What’s this? The pocket in my purse where I keep my phone is empty! Where is it? I check around the table and go out to my car. Nothing. With a sinking feeling I think it might be sitting in the drink holder of my camp chair – at the farm. Where I put it after texting my landlord.

I use the find my phone feature on my computer and that’s exactly where my phone is!

Did this solar eclipse zap all my brain cells out today? I’ve never forgotten my phone anywhere.

I’d also like to say it’s not the first time I’ve locked myself out of the house, but I did it about a month ago….

I decide to go back to the farm on my Suzuki Burgman.

And the phone was sitting exactly where I’d thought it’d be inside the barn: in the camp chair’s drink holder. Yup fun times!

So how did your solar eclipse day go? Was it a non-event or did you actually see the moon darken the sun?

 

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