light and semi-dark

October 16, 2023  •  7 Comments

I had planned to include more photographs from the Mountain and Valley Wool Association's Santa Fe Wool Festival in today's blog, but a once-in-a-lifetime event and serendipity interfered.  An annular (meaning shaped like or forming a ring) eclipse took a direct path over New Mexico from the northwestern corner of the state to the southeastern corner, giving people in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque a front row seat.  Many at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta stayed on the field to witness the eclipse.  It was yet another physics lesson about light.  

Some of you had asked earlier in the week whether I was going to photograph it.  I am not an astronomy photographer nor do I have the equipment to venture into the realm.  I leave that to the experts in the field and there are many amazing dark sky photographers who were out shooting with perfect placement for the eclipse.  But the eclipse morning had surprises waiting for us.

As we do during the weekend, we walked over to the middle school track about half a mile from our house to do our martial arts workout and a couple of jogs around the track.  Thought it might be interesting to do our routine during the eclipse, just to see what would happen and how it would feel.  There are 25 different forms we do, and about halfway through, I noticed that the big elm tree under which we practice was not exhibiting its normal shadow patterns.  In actuality, the shadows were becoming the shape of a three quarters or a waxing gibbous moon.  My original thinking was that I was imagining things.  The patterns were fascinating.  There were several people around the track who were awaiting the eclipse so I ran over to get them and show them the shadows.  Kid in a candy shop that I am, it seemed my responsibility to show people what was happening.  We kept on doing our forms when up walks our neighbor, Rebecca, and we showed her.  At this point the patterns were becoming thinner and thinner, revealing the fact that the sun was quickly being obscured by the moon, leaving slivers of light and shadow.  The tree leaves were acting as a pinhole camera, directly focusing the light.  Luckily, she had her phone and was kind enough to loan it to me.  I was totally unprepared for the occurrence. 

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In this image, you can see the trunk and limbs of the trees in addition to the leaf shadow effect.

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Given a bit more contrast, the slinky like shadows take on a rolling look.  Having heard that the our part of New Mexico would have roughly 86% darkness, it was interesting to witness the light in the sky very gradually change from the bright, autumnal light to what I would term semi-dark.  There was something about the eclipse that was deep and stirring.  Something from the early days of human evolution.  The event was both "smile" and "sigh" worthy.   

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Granted, these shots are not quite as sexy as the ring and darkened sun that many astronomy photographers got during the eclipse.  But thanks to our neighbor, I was able to capture a different take on this extraordinary event.


By the way, here are two screen shots of the sun being tracked by our solar panels.  In the first, a nice bell curve reflecting a normal, sunny pattern. 



The dip in the bell curve show below was the precise time when the eclipse began to happen over us.  



Thanks to all of you who read and commented on last week's blog, including Barbara F. R., Tim, Minna, Marilyn G., Jean and Sam, Claudia, TTT, Geula, Steve, Ingrid, Christina W., Sara, and to Rebecca for providing the tool to record the Saturday's eclipse.    So many of you have extremely busy lives while others are experiencing so many extenuating circumstances that my appreciation of your comments has increased exponentially!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©




Steve Immel(non-registered)
I'm just getting to this fascinating presentation about the annular eclipse. Our forced march of a trip has disconnected me from my usual world. This is a unique take on this rare event and more intriguing than the "ring and darkened sun we're used to seeing. We can depend on you to give us different take. Thanks for that.

I hope the wool fest was a grand success. Venice was too much of a good thing.
Terry P. Thompson(non-registered)
"a different take on this extraordinary event." yes, and very well presented. Thank You.
Brenda Morgan(non-registered)
Hey, those shots of the tree were WILD! It looked as if the tree was letting it's long locks down for the night. I loved them.
Tim Anderson(non-registered)
Very evocative images, Daryl. It is interesting how many people photographed those shadows. My photo class had an assignment to capture shadows as their homework but only one person was savvy enough to look elsewhere while the eclipse was happening. I guess that's why I have named my class, "Developing a Creative Vision." Keep 'em coming! Timmy likes!
Such serendipitous light/shadow treasures from eclipse! especially love the sun mapping from your panels. did you also notice how it got colder during the max minutes? thanks for YOUR unique catch of the event.
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