This is the first eclipse I’ve seen since 1980. I’d just arrived in Delhi, and the family I was staying with refused to let me go out of the house. “You’ll get sick,” they said.
Today’s eclipse was a party. People started gathering in Tom McCall Waterfront Park quite early; as Alan and I walked over the Hawthorne Bridge into downtown, we could see clusters of people settled down with bright blankets, paper coffee cups and white pastry bags in hand.
We headed out of the office about 9:30, and parked ourselves at the railing above the river. It was a bright, bright morning; sharp light glancing off wavelets made it hard to look directly at the river.
Looking through eclipse glasses confined the world to a dark screen and a bright sun, with the curve of the dark moon inching across it. Remove the glasses, and again see the world: river, the geese, the gulls, the people all around us: families, couples, office workers, chatting, laughing, exclaiming.
There was lots of tweeting going on, of course.
Here’s one from my friend Rachel Kelly.
Here was my amateur attempt!! #Eclipse2017 pic.twitter.com/dIAoMURi9E
— Rachel Kelly (@wholemilk) August 21, 2017
I liked seeing how the spaces between tree leaves became little pinhole cameras.
How tree people watch the #SolarEclispe2017 pic.twitter.com/MesRkv507q
— Wake Forest NC UFB (@ufb4trees) August 21, 2017
And then there’s this lovely colander effect…a Star of David made of little eclipsing suns.
Semi-eclipse of collander Magen David pic.twitter.com/2kHKAACWHl
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) August 21, 2017
I wonder when — and where — I’ll see my next eclipse.
The images seen through apertures formed by leaves (or collanders) is called the shadow effect. It’s been recognized for centuries.
Oh my goodness I am so honored that you put my tweet up on the eclipse. Friends and I went down to Cove Creek Campground, east of Salem. I thought it would be… well, I didn’t think it would be what it was, which was truly incredible. I still haven’t seen any photos that capture the refraction of beautiful white light around the moon during the totality – they all look firey, rather than, I don’t know, holy, and transparent – the light appears opaque in all the photos I’ve seen. It was, as they’ve all said, a once in a lifetime experience.