Wednesday, August 23, 2017

An Almost Total Eclipse

My Eclipse Report

In Eugene, Oregon we experienced 99.4% - just short of a total eclipse. We had good weather - clear skies with no forest fire smoke.

The morning started out 'normal' with the usual birds and critters.
The eclipse began just after 9:00am, with the maximum moon coverage reached at 10:18am.  By 11:38am the eclipse had ended.

A couple of months ago I bought glasses from a NASA approved vendor...

...so we were ready to watch.

I did not have a filter for my camera, so did not take any photos, but a friend who watched north of us along the Oregon coast took a wonderful series, we she generously agreed to share.  

It was so amazing to watch the moon slowly slide in front of the sun..

...further and further.

We noticed that it was very quiet as the eclipse progressed.
There was no traffic and the 'natural' noises of birds and critters greatly diminished. The temperature dropped several degrees. 

This is my friend's photo of the totality!
It's such a good photo that the ABC television station in Portland, Oregon used it in their coverage!

By 11:40am the sun was back full again.

We had some usual bird activity just before the maximum coverage.
Five minutes before there were still Turkey Vultures flying...then nothing in the sky. 
A Cedar Waxwing flew in - a bird I normally see in the evening...

...and a flock of Evening Grosbeaks (bids I've not seen since late July) also flew in.

The California Quail and hummingbirds remained active, but then these are two species that are active at dusk, so that was not surprising. It never got totally dark, there was still light in the sky even with less than 1% of the sun visible. 

After the eclipse had ended, I found this Cooper's Hawk sitting on our deer fence.

I wonder if he got confused by the false dusk and perched here to regain his bearings.

The next morning, the winds shifted, and the skies were once again smokey.

One of the helicopters fighting forest fires flew over our house.


On a happier note, I've posted another Michigan Adventure post.  You can read about Day Two of our Road Trip here

9 comments:

Maggee said...

Great report! I wondered what effect it would have on the birds... Am hearing of many different reactions. It is interesting that birds you have not seen in a while dropped in, and also that Cooper's hawk on your fence--most probably getting his bearings after the eclipse messed him up! Dang shame about the smoke coming back.... grrrr...

Amy said...

Great photos! I was in the path of totality in Missouri, and it was so cool. I didn't get any photos, except of eclipse shadows on my sidewalk before and after totality.

I'm enjoying your vacation posts! I had never really thought about Michigan as a vacation spot, but you have me convinced otherwise now.

Robin in Virginia said...

Fabulous bird photos, Beth and thank you for sharing your friend's photos from the eclipse. We had a feeding frenzy with the hummers right before and then they returned right after.

Mouse said...

ohhhh my those photos are fabulous ... we just had cloud all day so couldn't see a darn thing ... love the bird photos too ... and isn't it weird when everything goes quiet before the noise starts again ... love mouse xxxxx

Margaret said...

So cool that you got to experience the solar eclipse! And how nice of your friend to share pictures too!

MaryO said...

Wonderful pics.😀 So sorry about the return of smoke.😣
MaryO1230

Carol said...

That must have been wonderful to see the total eclipse, Beth! we only had about 82% and I have to say, it was a bit of a let-down. It didn't even get much darker than on a cloudy day... Oh well, there will be another in 2024 which looks like it will be better for us :)

LDR said...

This is so cool! We didn't have total eclipse here and it was disappointing. You had prime viewing, and it is so interesting to hear how the birds reacted.

Joseph Shields said...

Fantastic photos of the eclipse, so nice that your friend shared them.