Solar Shadows

Here in southwest Virginia, we were a few hours outside the Path of Totality. I saw some of the eclipse as generous strangers shared their cardboard glasses, but I had set my sights on a different kind of spectacle.  While everyone else turned their faces upward to the skies, I wanted to focus on the observable changes here on Earth. In particular, I was hoping to see a transition from daylight to the wildlife night shift. I set off for the Huckleberry Trail, sans terrier-boy Dash this time because I was planning to take some pictures.

It turns out, even at 91% coverage our local star is still very bright.  The mid-day temperature cooled slightly, and the light did dim somewhat, although that was helped along by some clouds competing with the moon for eclipse honors. I was expecting late evening light and instead it felt more like about 4p or 5p.  The only wildlife I observed taking notice of this change were katydids and maybe a couple of crickets.

What I did notice, however, and hadn’t expected at all, was the impact of the eclipse on shadows.  The patterns were mesmerizing, especially beneath leafy trees. I’ve shared some of my shots below, along with some by other photographers that are better representations of what I saw than my smartphone’s camera could achieve.

What was your most memorable observation during this week’s eclipse?  Share your thoughts and images in the comments section below.

[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license (all other photos by KJ Lindsey, CC BY 2.0): FolsomNatural, Cantavestrella, David Prasad, and Andrew Reding© 2017 Sidewalk Zendo. Reprints welcomed with written permission from the author.]

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