Solar Eclipse in My Garden

It’s been an exciting day here in North America. Depending on where you live, you could witness the first total eclipse of the sun in the U.S. from the Pacific to the Atlantic since 1918.

AccuWeather total solar eclipse

Map of total solar eclipse route. We live in the 70% range – Source: AccuWeather

Here in San Jose, we witnessed a partial solar eclipse for about 2 1/2 hours. It reached its maximum impact at 10:21 a.m. when I popped outside with my camera to take some garden pics.

The occluded sun cast crescent-shaped shadows on the ground and the side of the house. I took this photo one minute before maximum impact.

crescent shaped shadows eclipse

During the eclipse: Crescent shaped shadows cast by the tree on the side of the house

Here’s what I noticed in the garden:

Most of the flowers in bloom remained open with one exception: the pumpkin blossoms. The flowers started curling in, and when I checked on them after lunch, they had closed up tight. Fascinating!

pumpkin blossum during solar eclipse

During the Eclipse: Pumpkin blossom closing in 10:23 am

It was eerily quiet when I went outside. We had less birdsong than usual.  The bees, however, continued on with their day.  I admire their industrious nature and silently thanked them for keeping our planet afloat.

bees during solar eclipse

During the eclipse: the bees didn’t seem to register any difference

National Public Radio aired live updates throughout the day, and though it’s radio and not TV, they managed to convey the excitement as the eclipse crossed a thin ribbon of states.

Back in the garden, I enjoyed the interesting shadows.

Pumpkin in shadows solar eclipse

During the Eclipse: Pumpkin fruit in shadows 10:23 am

California poppies during the solar eclipse

During the eclipse: California poppies 10:24 am

pumpkin shadow during solar eclipse

During the eclipse: Arching ribbon of shadow on the pumpkin’s surface 10:35 am

Indoors, the cats were oblivious. (See Monday through Sunday for comparison…ha!)

Did you witness all or part of the eclipse today?






Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

Last night we got to experience a total lunar eclipse from our back yard.  Good thing, too, since it happened after midnight.  We all went to bed around ten and set an alarm  for 12:00.  My youngest son asked me this morning if he got up to see it or if he had just imagined it.  So much for laying down memories!

Mike took some photos, which I’ve included below.  They’ll make great memories for us, but if you want to see the true majesty of this eclipse, you can check it out at Bad Astronomy.

blood moon

View from the backyard: 9:09 pm

Full moon, 9:09 pm

Full moon, 9:09 pm

Full Blood Moon: 12:50 am

Full Blood Moon: 12:50 am

According to Phil Plait of Slate:

there will be three more total lunar eclipses visible to the United States over the next year and half: in October this year, and in April and September of 2015. While their won’t be any bright stars near the Moon for the eclipse in October, the planet Uranus will be only a degree away! There’s also a partial solar eclipse two weeks later, on Oct. 23, 2014! That’ll be a treat. And if you live in Australia there’s a nice annular solar eclipse on April 29; this is when the Moon is slightly smaller than the Sun and leaves a ring of Sun around the dark Moon.

Do you enjoy watching a lunar or solar eclipse? If so, please share your memories in the comments below.

Garden Party

Blue and Gold

It was a lovely day, surrounded by dear old friends gathered to celebrate Mike’s 50th.  Our friend Laura baked an incredible cake, as delicious as it was beautiful.

In a state known for moderate temperatures, California did not disappoint.  We enjoyed mid-eighties, with a welcome breeze, though we ended up back indoors to light the candles on the cake.

Mike and his friend of 30 years ended the day watching the solar eclipse through binoculars on the front deck.  Such a joyous day in the garden.

Taking Sun Near the Garden Beds

Laura’s Cake Sets Sail

The Crowd

Order Restored

Observing the Solar Eclipse