Solar Eclipse or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Shadows

Zippy got up at 2:45 this morning to drive north to Torrington, Wyoming, so he could experience the total solar eclipse. If I could’ve been teleported back home, rather than sitting in gridlocked traffic after witnessing the eclipse, I would’ve gone with him.

I chose to stay home. When I spoke with Zippy after he arrived in the little town of Torrington, I felt pangs of regret for missing out on what he was experiencing. Why didn’t I go with him? Why didn’t I have those special glasses?

But it was too late. Peak eclipse around here was at 11:47, so I busied myself building a pinhole projector. Then while I waited, I played around with a colander.

As the peak moment approached, I watched in my pinhole projector.

NASA-approved viewing apparatus

I was momentarily confused when the sun spot appeared to be getting larger rather than smaller. Was it possible I wasn’t clear on the whole eclipse concept??? Then I realized that my progressive eyeglass lenses were distorting the image and if I held the projector farther from my eye, I could see the diminishing sun. So then I t ried photographing that projector image.

As you can see, I was nowhere near aiming my camera phone at the correct angle. The lighting was really throwing me off and I couldn’t see what I was doing. But don’t get me wrong, I loved the eclipse lighting! Rather than being the usual mid-day harsh lighting, it was subdued and trippy. I had so much fun looking at my plants in the yard. It was like being on a pyschadelic trip.


My absolute favorite things to look at were the crescent-shaped shadows from the maple tree. 

My brother called me about 20 minutes before peak eclipse to verify I had special glasses. When I told him Zippy had taken our only pair, my brother urged me to jump in the car and drive to his house. I opted to stay put, and I’m so glad I did. While I couldn’t look directly at the sun to see what millions of people saw today, I thoroughly enjoyed my backyard eclipse experience. The sky was off-limits to me, so I focused on all the cool details down below.

4 thoughts on “Solar Eclipse or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Shadows

  1. We were supposed to get 80% coverage here, but it was cloudy around the same time. Since I didn’t have special glasses, I didn’t look at that part of the sky, so couldn’t tell whether the dimming + cooling at that time was due to clouds or eclipse. If I’d tried to go to a “totality” place, I probably would’ve gotten stuck in one of those where the clouds completely covered the sun!

    But those who had a clear view of totality–it sounds like they had an amazing experience. So I’m toying with the idea of trying to see the 2024 eclipse more directly. Plenty of time to decide!


    • I’m sorry you suffered cloud coverage, Jenn. We had clear skies here in Denver through the entire event and then about 30 minutes later, it was completely overcast. We really lucked out. Zippy said he didn’t see any clouds until he got back to Denver this evening. It’s definitely a crap shoot.

      I’m with you re 2024. Thinking I might want to plan on making it An Event. Maybe we’ll go to the same place!


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