Path of Totality (almost)

Yesterday, a good portion of the United States had the rare opportunity to experience a solar eclipse. Boise, Idaho wasn’t in the “path of totality” for the moon blotting out 100 percent of the sun, but we peaked just shy of it at seeing 99.5 percent of the sun covered.

And what better place to use nature’s pinhole camera than “The City of Trees.” Len and I used protective eclipse eyewear to view the sun, but we also enjoyed seeing hundreds of tiny crescents covering the driveway. We’d read in the newspaper that:

“A pinhole camera is the most simple image-projection technology there is. You can use a thumbtack to punch a hole in card stock, hold that card under a direct light source, and a tiny, exact image of that light source will be projected on the other side of the hole.”

“Sunlight filtering through the branches of trees will create a field of crescent-shaped light on the sidewalk below it. It’s the pinhole camera effect, multiplied naturally hundreds of time underneath each tree. Each gap in the leaves acts as its own pinhole, so you see an image of the eclipse in each of those gaps.”

Where were you during the eclipse on August 21, 2017?


69 thoughts on “Path of Totality (almost)

  1. Hi Laurie,

    On the other side of the planet.

    No eclipse for us.

    I did see one about 35 years ago, and it was kind of eerie how the birds went quiet, and it got cold and dark in the middle of the day.

    • Ted — I was wondering if you folks would see or feel any effects from the eclipse. Now I know.

      And yes, it dropped a sold 10 degrees and the streetlights came on because it was so dark 🙂

    • Shirley — I bet your grandchildren had a blast!

      I remember in elementary school when we made pinhole cameras out of animal cracker boxes. Remember they had those little white shoelace-type handles? Our teacher, Miss Fiero figured we’d be able to hang on to them so they wouldn’t get lost 🙂

  2. In rainy Jacksonvillians, the eclipse was a total dud although I enjoyed seeing crescents on other people’s porches and sidewalks via Facebook. During graduate school, our son turned a step-van into a huge pin-hole camera and traveled around Chicago and the environs to capture his creations. The van is gone, but he has framed some large artifacts from this project as evidence.

  3. Cloudy here in SE Wisconsin; not in the path of totality. No in-person view here. Loved seeing the NASA shots of the eclipse plus other coverage on TV: Oregon, Idaho Falls (one of the best), all the way to downstate, Carbondale, Illinois (sadly cloudy but a brief viewing), Nashville (foiled by clouds again), and so on. NASA is always the best (if personal viewing is not an option) for anything space related. Here are yesterday’s highlights crom NASA:

  4. So awesome you saw it, and 99.5% would be close enough for me. Did you notice animals go into panic mode as the light began to dim? Did it get cooler?

    We had 65% coverage in Austin and used both a mica viewer we had from a total eclipse we watched in Richland, WA in 1979 along with pinholes punched in cardstock, projected on poster board. I looked for crescents from tree leaves, such as those you show in your magnificent pictures, but the only ones hitting a smooth surface were blurry and I found nothing resembling crescents. The blur was probably due to the breeze that was strong enough my poster board would have blown away on the ground.

    Now we look forward to the next one in seven years. Austin is on the inside edge of the totality path for that one. Since April is in the rainy season here, we’re already doing sun dances.

  5. I didn’t see any crescent shapes on the ground or the lake. I went out with some a crystal, my turquoise, and a bottle of water to receive direction energy of grounding as well as receiving the intentions I set forth for them in this experience. I took a few photos during the process, which at the height of it was overcast yet still gray day light!

  6. I was in Weiser, so was able to view the eclipse in its totality. The sun’s corona was an awesome sight to behold. The original plan of viewing the eclipse on a friend’s ranch fell through when his flight back to Boise got cancelled. He had to miss it.

  7. I THOUGHT you’d be close to 100% in Boise, Laurie. 🙂 Good for you to see such a historic event. Wait a minute … did you PLAN to move to Boise a few years ago JUST to have a perfect vantage point??? Pretty clever! 😉

    In Owatonna, MN, watching off our back porch, but the clouds rolled in about 15 minutes before we peaked at about 85% of totality. Got one glimpse near the peak time through some haze, and most of the sun was indeed covered by the moon. Got dark but mostly due to advancing rain clouds. Birds in our neighborhood seemed unaffected by the event.

    Two sets of in-laws ventured to 100% vantage points in WY and SC and witnessed 100% totality. They said it was pretty spectacular.


  8. Laurie, first let me say that I am loving the photographs, they bring back memories of another eclipse in the 70’s. We sat at a picnic table under a dogwood tree and marveled at all the little crescents spangling every surface. The eclipse occurred mid-morning here in Southern California and I had picked beans from the garden earlier in day. With a bucket of beans at my feet and a large bowl in my lap, I sat on the porch snapping beans and keeping an eye on the sky. At the projected time the sky dimmed slightly and my pinhole camera showed the vague outline of a crescent, more from the “hanging chads” of paper fibers left after my haphazard poking of the paper with a pencil. I’m glad I got to be a witness to the event though, it’s the third in my lifetime.

  9. I pointed my camera up and clicked away…I was able to get a few shots but couldn’t really see anything much in the photos other than a darkening of the sky, but I had a good time for an hour and a half.

  10. Under the trees watching the crescents as Zip and I walked home from the lake. We had no eye wear just the joy of lots of trees and walked crescent to crescent. Lovely, lovely way

  11. Hi Laurie, I saw it at 87% in Barrington, IL. The sky was partly cloudy/hazy but it cleared enough at the right time for us to see it. Some kind people nearby let us view it through their protective glasses. I thought at 87% it would be much darker than it was though. Also our dear friend Larry drove to Carbondale to witness 100% totality. Can’t wait to hear his stories!

  12. Sorry never seen one , however we did see a partial eclipse some years ago but that’s not nearly as spectacular. It isn’t really my thing but my husband was jumping up and down wanting so much to be with you over the pond . He is fascinated beyond belief . I wish I could have magicked him over he’d have been delighted

  13. I was sitting in a dentist office watching the sky turn dim through a large picture window. However, my dental tech did run out for a minute to take a selfie with her phone. When she got back she showed me the picture. It was a great shot, so I had her e mail it to my phone. Since, my phone was out, I began showing her pictures of our garden while she continued to clean my teeth. Though a “boomer,” I was feeling quite “mellinial.”

  14. I was sitting on a plastic Adirondack chair beneath a spectacular maple tree watching my husband and my son fill in 57 feet of French drain with rocks. I was very comfortable. 🙂 I noticed a dulling of the normally bright sun; not cloudy, really. Like sepia tones had been laid over the scene. Frankly, I’m glad it’s over. But it was one of those moments — do you remember hands across America? In the 80s — where we were together in one moment. That seemed important.

  15. I heard about this, we had one here ummm maybe a couple of years ago? Not long ago really. I had the day off work, and sat outside early during the day waiting for it to happen. It happened earlier than expected, so a lot of people – especially those at work who had been given a time to expect the eclipse, leave their desks and go and watch – missed it.

    I remember it went strangely quiet, even the birds stopped singing… I loved it! (I had special glasses too!)

  16. i was actually up at the school organizing the 2017 picture books that I will be using for the upcoming (annual) Caldecott Contender series, but I was right next to a window!! 🙂

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