Sandra Woods
Art despite pain

In the news

(posted on 8 Apr 2024)

I usually post "In the News" stories on Sunday nights, but made an exception this week because of the eclipse today.
My husband and I had been planning for this natural phenomenon for quite a while, ever since we realized that our area would be in the "path of totality"; that, if the weather was good, we'd be able to experience the total eclipse.
We blocked our calendars, ordered eclipse glasses from a recommended vendor, and started scouting out good viewpoints within cycling distance of our home.
We decided on the highest point along a paved cycling path, in the middle of a clearing and well away from streetlights or the lights on commercial buildings. As a bonus, we'd have a large forest behind us so could hear whether the birds changed their calls.
This spot worked out perfectly, and the wispy clouds didn't block our views at all. We were happy to have brought warmer clothing, but hadn't expected the temperature to drop as much as it did. My husband brought a thermometer, so we were able to see the temperature drop by 12 degrees centigrade - and quickly ended up wearing all the extra layers of clothing in our bike-packs.
Among all the 'special effects' created by the total eclipse, I thought the "diamond ring" effect was the most impressive. The photo below was taken with my phone's camera; the actual event was absolutely incredible.
There was also a 360-degree sunset, or a sunset effect all around us, which was spectacular.
The bird calls did change, although only during the period of darkness; the colder temperature and rapid rise in humidity stayed long after the entire eclipse had ended.
While waiting for the eclipse to begin, I did some pencil-sketching of the nearby forest. Once the moon started progressively blocked the the sun, I started creating quick watercolour sketches of the different phases - just for fun.

This quick watercolour sketch shows the moon covering about 20% of the sun - viewed with eclipse glasses but then painted without them; standing with my back to the sun.