First, the spot. Yesterday I drove with my in-laws to Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska to see the 2017 solar eclipse in its totality. I was apprehensive at first just because of all the talk of carmaggedon and because I was happy just checking out the eclipse in my hometown of beautiful Boulder, CO. (total solar eclipses came off a little creepy to me anyway)
I am so happy I woke up at 4 a.m. to journey out. There was no traffic and Google maps led us outside of our actual destination around the lake like many others around us. But it was perfect! Look at the view! We had the place all to ourselves minus the few nice people at the gate entrance off the side of the road. We setup our chairs underneath the tallest hill pictured below and waited for the magic……
TOTALITY! No, any picture or video you see on a screen will never compare to what you witness with the naked eye. I wasn’t planning on snapping photos of it with my old, janky D3200 (my D750 is currently out of commission due to a freak accident on a girl’s trip to Moab last weekend ;), but I quickly snapped this!
The feelings while witnessing a total solar eclipse is almost indescribable. Let’s quickly just say it’s like doing shrooms without the shrooms.
Overtime the landscape slowly gets darker and duller in lighting. A little creepy. The sun looks fairly bright and normal at a glance but suddenly you see it disappearing. The diamond ring effect takes place and suddenly you know the sun will soon disappear!! Instinctively it is a little gut wrenching.
After a second or two, darkness, nothing.
Then, the sun’s brilliant corona shines beautiful around the moon and creates an intense visual scene like nothing I will ever witness again.
The sky is lit up light blue and black. It is dramatic and the corona does not seem to be dancing as I imagined, but still and beautiful. A bright star appears in the sky off to the right of it and underneath this insane nighttime transformation, the gorgeous rolling hills of Nebraska everywhere.
When it is over the atmosphere and grounds are still a very cool yet eerie shade of dusk–brown, purple and pink.
It is sheer magnificence and it is what brought billions of people out of their daily routines, to witness together. I totally understand why ancient cultures would bang pots and pans together to “wake up the sun” during this time. Imagine if we had no forecasters to tell us the sun would be eaten up at so and so hour and minute. You would freak out! You would say, “Yo something is going on with the sun…oh sh*t! Come back!” Granted we would soon decipher it is the passing moon obviously. Very interesting to hear how cultures would react to this. I had my partner hold my hand before totality.
All in all it was a tear jerking feeling and image I hope to never forget 🙂
Finally, here is the time lapse of the event (around eight minutes sped up). In hindsight we should have moved the GoPro to our camp site with a wide view of the land but we were too lazy to go back down and get it ? Again, these images can’t capture the real deal! The GoPro couldn’t capture the cover of sun and darkness either but hope you enjoy 🙂