Eclipse iPhone

Of course the headline of the day is the solar eclipse! We drove about 75mi NE into the total eclipse zone, and got a good glimpse (yes, through eclipse glasses) from our outpost in a Walmart parking lot, along with many others. [No, we did not shop.]

Big sock lens eclipse

The first photo is from an iPhone. There’s a wee inverted eclipse visual echo below the actual eclipse. Even with only a halo of light, the iPhone sensor was blown out (non-technical phrasing) and couldn’t capture it.

The second photo is from a long lens on our digital SLR—thanks, Guru.

What I didn’t expect is the temps in the high 90s were temporarily diminished…should have, but didn’t occur to me.

Many of the outbound “light” signs we saw leaving ATL reminded people that there was no eclipse-view parking on the interstate. I am outta practice and didn’t capture any of them, even though I tried three times!

Eroded cross

Reefert churchyard cross Glendalough

Weathered cross supporting moss and lichens, in Reefert Churchyard near Glendalough monastic complex, County Wicklow, Ireland. Photo from May 2017.

This cross is in the churchyard of Reefert Church; the name is an anglicized corruption of Righ Fearta, meaning burial place of the kings. There was probably a church here before the present one, which is in ruins and probably dates to the 10th/11th C. Perhaps the hazel tree grove that surrounds it has similar antiquity.

Graves here include seven leaders of the Ua Tuathail clan. You probably would recognize the name as O’Toole—more anglicization. One of the 12th C Ua Tuathail’s associated with this church was Lorcán, aka Saint Laurence O’Toole (1128–1180), who became Abbot of Glendalough in his 20s and Archbishop of Dublin in his 30s.

Minutia from me to you


View west from Carnbane East area of the sizable Loughcrew Cairns complex, in May 2017. Arrow points to Carnbane West hilltop. The bumps are cairns.

Among the eclipse hoopla, you may have read that a stone in Ireland has petroglyphs that may constitute the world’s earliest known record of an eclipse. The stone is in a large stone monument in the Loughcrew Cairns complex, and probably dates to about 5K years ago. It is one of many stone mounds on the hilltop west of the hilltop that’s open to the public, where I was standing to take this photo. The hilltop we visited, Carnbane East, had at least six obvious cairns on it.

The cairn is more properly a passage tomb, oriented so that the sun can shine in the passage and illuminate carefully placed stones usually on the solstice. And, yes, with human remains.

The designers and builders of these monuments clearly were aware of astronomical minutia, so an eclipse would have been in their wheelhouse. Whether the spirals and circles some consider the record of an eclipse are just that, I don’t know, but it certainly seems possible.

River borders

Columbia bridge

Photo taken last December.

This bridge crosses the mighty Columbia at Longview, and is the second bridge upstream, at 66 miles from the mouth. Its drainage basin is about the size of France, so you know there’s a serious flow.

At some point today I was thinking about rivers and borders. Even small creeks can be borders, I guess in part because in pre-satellite days, most anyone could tell which bank of the river they were on. If that makes sense.

Of course, for its lower miles, the Columbia is designated the border between the USA states of Washington and Oregon.


Redwood stump chainsaw cut

Photo from last December.

Without context, this looks like it could be a satellite photo of a bleak landscape with a fault or chasm bisecting it.

Truth is that it’s a not-new chainsaw cut of a redwood, with some fungi or sap or something making the elevated, gnarly formations.

Welcome to Cuba

Welcome to cuba

I snapped this during our Sunday drive last weekend. Papi’s is next to the famous Mary Mac’s Tea Room on Ponce, and it is one of a local chain of seven. In contrast, Mary Mac’s used to be a chain, but the Ponce location is the only one left.

I’ve been trying to figure out the fruits on the upper windows. So far, I’m going with mangoes, coconuts, and bananas—not to scale.

Never eaten here. Now on to-do list.

Petal up

Rose d Vicki

A rose by any other name…is ever-lovely.

Eclipse prep

Eclipse path NE GA w times

I studied this official NASA map of the total eclipse path across NE Georgia, now that we have eclipse specs. It seems to me that the trick is to find a place that you are more likely to be able escape FROM after it’s over.

Out, about

Sunday drive

We made a bold decision: to go for a Sunday drive! In the Prius! Since The Event, we have been using the Venerable, with the bench rear seat that allows me to elevate the foot easily. Today, we explored (heh) our options.

Urban turtles

Among our wanders, we had a fun, quick visit with my FIL, then turned downhill and found posing urban turtles!

Summary: a great experience!

Wee victory

Steed loaded

This evening, Steed and I did a normal, everyday chore: we set the table. There’s flatware, serving utensils, plates, my water…well, I can’t safely do an open glass of water, so the Guru had to do his own, but I marshaled the rest!

Well, ehem, not the food.