Chasing The Shadow – Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 Diamond Ring | Whims And Fancies

 

Diamond Ring – heralding Totality

 

Today I want to share something with you that is extremely special to me – our eclipse journey which I started planning two years ago.  It was two years ago that I called the hotel in the tiny little town of John Day, Oregon to reserve a room for the two of us for last weekend.  John Day lay in the path of totality, so we wouldn’t have to drive any further once we got there to see the total solar eclipse.

 

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Baily's Beads | Whims And Fancies

 

Baily’s Beads – Sunlight rushing in between moon’s craters

 

This was our first total solar eclipse.  I have photographed a couple of partial ones before, but those were nothing compared to the sun being completely obscured by the moon.  I knew I had to capture this event with my camera and telescope. 

So, on Friday afternoon we started our 592-mile / 10-hour journey northbound to chase the moon’s shadow for the first time in our lives.  We both love to drive, and the scenery was fabulous.  At any other time, I would have stopped and taken a LOT of photos along the way, but my mind was focused on one and only one thing this time.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Baily's Beads With Prominence | Whims And Fancies

 

Close up of Baily’s Beads – bright sunlight filtering through the rough edges of the craters on the moon

Solar Prominences – Activity on the solar surface shown in red

 

I knew going in that I would be able to either view and enjoy the eclipse or take photos.  I chose photos.  Totality would last only 2 minutes at our location and I had to finish taking a series of photos within that time.  Immediately after, the solar filter would need to be placed back in front of the telescope before the sun would emerge again, so my eyes and my optics would not be left permanently damaged.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Earthshine | Whims And Fancies

 

Couldn’t pass up a chance of capturing the lunar surface covering the sun

 

We spent Sunday at the hotel.  We were lucky enough to be able to park our car right in front of our room.  The car powered my telescope’s motorized mount so it could continue to track the sun once I had everything set up and aligned correctly.  We spent the morning making sure the setup worked from that location.  The afternoon was spent rehearsing the set of exposures I would be taking.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Totality | Whims And Fancies

 

Totality

 

One last rehearsal Monday morning and I was set.  I started watching and recording the partial eclipse from the very beginning.  As the moon proceeded to cover the majority of the sun, the light started dimming quite significantly and the temperature dropped noticeably as well.  I felt a chill in the air and we experienced late twilight in the middle of an otherwise very sunny morning.  

Right then, the alarm went off on the phone to tell us to remove the solar filter and start clicking.  The race against time had begun!  It felt like the two minutes were over even before the countdown started.  I didn’t get a chance to look up at the sky, but I also knew I would be very sad if I didn’t take the photos.

 

Art Supply Zipper Bag | Whims And Fancies

 

Needless to say, I didn’t get to paint or sew much.  Before the trip, I did manage to make a small bag using the yellow newspaper fabric that my dear friend Kris sent me.  I made it to carry my tiny little paint palette and my sketchbook.  Remember the round pencil cases I made in this Sketchbook 2017 post?  Now I have a matching art supply bag.  I took them with me, but unfortunately they stayed in my backpack.  I know one of the August sketchbook entries will be of the eclipse.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 | Whims And Fancies

 

Total Solar Eclipse – Beginning To End

 

My husband helped me rehearse the photography sequence more than a dozen times, and talked to curious strangers while I was setting up my telescope so I could keep my concentration.  Most importantly, he sacrificed his viewing experience to remove and replace the solar filter on time, to call the photo settings out loud and to shine a red light on the camera so I could shoot uninterrupted. 

This was my first try at taking photos of totality and I really could not have done this without him.  I wish we had a few more seconds so he could have enjoyed it a bit longer. I owe him another eclipse journey.

 

I anticipated this for so long, now I am a bit sad that it’s over.  As happy as I am with the photos, I also wish that I spent time experiencing the totality with my own eyes.  Shakespeare said it best –  “For man is a giddy thing and this is my conclusion“.

Thank You for listening!
-Soma

 

I am also linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.   They are fun to visit and great source for new inspirations.

 

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Viking Penguin Olaf, Paintings And Eclipse

Viking Penguin Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies
 

Purchase Viking Penguin Olaf Pattern

 

I have had this idea of creating another penguin quilt pattern for months now.  I recently got a set of loose colour pencils and I desperately need to make a new pencil case.  That provided a perfect excuse to draw my little Viking Penguin Olaf.   Viking helmets didn’t really have those horns, but Olaf insisted that I put horns on his helmet.  Although I think he looks very cute, he thinks the horns make him look more formidable!

I couldn’t resist taking a short break from the stained glass flower blocks to make him.  The penguin pattern is for a 10″ block.  I scaled it down to make a 7″ block for my pencil case.  Originally I was going to give him a green vest, but the red looks so much better on him against the starry background.  Olaf is available in my shop if you want to make him for yourself.

 

 

Penguin Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Purchase Little Penguin Polaris Pattern

 

It all started with Little Penguin Polaris.  I have a gimpy and chubby kitty cat called Charlie, whose photo occasionally surfaces here.  He would like nothing more than for people to take him seriously.  Except it has never worked since he was a baby.  He just gets picked up and cuddled, and he just sits on your lap with all of his claws tucked in.

When I was going to make a little winter-themed block for a friend, I knew I had to make a chubby little disgruntled penguin in a scarf and a hat.  So if Charlie were a penguin instead of a cat, this is what he would look like where all the other grown up penguins are just not taking him seriously enough!

Polaris and Olaf have become great friends already.  They are busy planning all sorts of mischief together.

 

 

Thank you for staying with me until the last set of cards from this set of 61 index card paintings.  Here are the last five –

 

 

icad 2015 Sunrise Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Sunrise

 

I like to look toward the west during sunrise where the first rays of the sun light up the mountain ranges while the full moon sets behind them.

 

 

icad 2015 Affair Of The Hearts Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

An Affair Of Hearts

 

 

icad 2015 Edinburgh Tenement Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Edinburgh Flat

 

I really like moss-covered stone buildings.

 

 

icad 2015 Explore other worlds | Whims And Fancies

 

Cross the boundary and explore other worlds

 

 

icad 2015 Telescope, Stars And Blake Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I had to make this one as my final card.  I love William Blake’s work and I love the stars.  I see William Blake’s words come to life every time I look through my telescope.

I will share another post about the index card painting experience along with photos of all the cards together.   It has been a lot of fun sharing these cards with you.  Thank you again for your encouraging words.

 

 

I will leave you with a photo of the lunar eclipse I took last Sunday.  We are surrounded by mountain ranges, and there was also a thick layer of cloud right at the horizon.   The eclipse occurred right around sunset for us, so it was low in our sky.   I really wanted to see it during the maximum eclipse.  Just as I was losing hope, a faint, eclipsed moon showed up, shortly before the maximum eclipse and right above the cloud layer.

 

 

Lunar Eclipse 2015 | Whims And Fancies

 

Enjoy,
-Soma

 

 

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