Feature photo: Laura Niemiec
On Monday, the Dig the Dunes team headed off in all different directions and came back with many thoughts and perspectives about the solar eclipse. We had a group FB message going while the eclipse was taking place. “I made a viewing box! I hope it works” Said Izzy, “Driving home from Wisconsin with overcast skies” said Donna with a sad face. “Overcast at Purdue”, said Rachael. “Good luck, everyone!” said Scott and Matt.
I asked a few of them to send me some photos as well as a few words about what they saw. You can read below.
Laura Niemiec, Chapin SC
I was originally in Charleston, South Carolina for the solar eclipse and was really looking forward to seeing totality there at Boone Hall Plantation. However, with rain in the forecast I kept a close eye on weather radar incase I needed to change plans. Mid-morning I saw storms popping up just before totality so I made the last minute decision to bow out of Charleston a day early and raced up I-26 in search of clear skies. I exited into the small town of Chapin, SC about 2 hours later and ended up in the spacious parking lot of a Bi-Lo. I wasn’t the only one there. A few others had camped out in the back end of the parking lot – some with lawn chairs, some laid on the pavement looking up, and others yet sat in convertibles with the tops down – all donning the flimsy cardboard eclipse glasses. The event had already started by the time I set up and started shooting. I wasn’t worried about that because what I really wanted to see was totality. The sky was partly cloudy and the occasional fluffy cloud quickly passed between us and the sun . . . until right before totality. This small dark cloud crept over our viewing area and refused to move. As I glanced between my watch and the sky, begging the cloud to move quicker, totality began. At that point I did the only thing I could do, grabbed my cell phone and began shooting video. I am so glad that I did. As the sky darkened, you could hear the crickets, cicadas, and katydids singing their song. The temperature dropped significantly (a blessing from the sweltering 90 degree heat). The storm clouds on the horizon glowed like they do at sunset. The lights in the parking lot came on. It was surreal and beyond cool. Then, just as quickly as it became night, it turn back to day and the birds started singing. I still don’t have the words for how incredible the experience was but I do know it is one I’ll never forget. While I wasn’t able to capture totality with my lens, just being able to experience it was nothing short of amazing.
Stephen Lehman, Nashville TN
Kaity and I chose a different route than most photographers. Instead of focusing our attention on the eclipse itself, we chose to focus on the way it affected shadows and light. (Stephen and Kaity took a time lapse video of the eclipse, which we hope to share soon!)
Angela Zucker, Shawnee National Forest
My family and I went camping at Shawnee National Forest. We were clouded over for the entire two minutes and forty seconds, yet it was amazing! Still so worth all the driving!
Eve Wierzbicki, Portage IN
I decided to head just down the street to The Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk. When I got there at 11:00am, I was in shock at the line of people waiting for glasses. It was an amazing experience and even though it didn’t get totally dark, seeing so many people together in one place to watch and experience the eclipse, will be something I will remember forever.
Matthew Werner, Union Mills IN
I watched the eclipse from the family farm in Union Mills. I had taken a break for lunch and was watching CBS news on TV. That’s when the total eclipse hit Madras, Oregon. The crowd whooping and hollering and the beauty of it was striking. A few minutes later, television coverage showed the sun disappear and reappear in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with the Grand Tetons in the background. It was awesome to watch live on TV. I thought. Millions of Americans had flocked into the path of totality. What a thing. We have been surrounded every day with dreadful news. Yet, so many people took time out of their schedules to appreciate mother nature performing an amazing parlor trick. It seemed like we were all doing it together. The television and radio buzzed with happy reporters and smiling observers everywhere. Like millions of other Americans, I stood outside and watched the sky grow dusty, colors change, the air cool a couple degrees, a light breeze blew, and strange black shadows cast in the afternoon sun. Everything felt alright for a little bit. I wished it could have lasted longer.