Welcome! Lenkaland shares my adventures in creative photography, raising two kids, writing, living with chronic illness, raising a daughter with dyslexia, and swimming with mermaids. Hope you have a nice stay!

Ring of Fire

We realized yesterday morning that this big event, this epic solar eclipse, had snuck up on us.  Too late, we thought about rigging the camera to take photos. Only to find that all the hardware stores within 50 miles (which aren't that many, really) had sold out of #14 Welders' Glass.  We didn't even bother with an official camera filter because we don't have a camera store in town. The kids had an afternoon birthday party, so it was up to Giovanni to prepare everything. We came home to his brilliant solution using binoculars held up to white paper. The binoculars cast a cool shadow, too. This was our first look at the disappearing sun.

True to my life lesson, when a path is blocked- look in another direction. This spoke to me during the eclipse because instead of using a tripod and focusing the camera up, I caught sun-flares.  Just last week I was curious about how to photograph sun-flares, so I had read a few online tutorials. Thank goodness for the crash course.

The shadow devoured the sun minute by minute. We propped the paper in a rosebush.

And the light became crazy-strange, all muted and low.  I tried to catch the weird way the sunshine dimmed all around us . . .

Cameras and editing programs are too good these days, though, at compensating for strange light.

Here is Anika in the eerie twilight. And Ian, with his favorite camera-expression these days.

We called our neighbor friends over so they could see (and maybe remember) the eclipse.  We lost the first observation spot as the sun sank towards the trees. Oh, no! A moment of panic. We could miss it. Giovanni persevered, though, and found a new rosebush to hold up the precious paper. You can see him here angling the binoculars just right to cast a bright devoured-sun on the paper.

The kids soon tired of a paper propped on a rosebush. They wandered to the other side of the pool so they could dip their feet into the cool water.

Yep, a lot more fun to step deeper and deeper wearing all of your clothing!

Splashing in the strange light as the sun disappears.

The youngsters, especially, found it hysterical to get soaked.

All while a shadow devoured the sun. Just a tiny sliver left!

Then, the ring of fire. Giovanni took this photo while holding the binoculars. I don't know how he managed it. I am glad he captured the moment. Magical!

The shadow moved on . . .

Anika changed into a swimming suit and jumped into the pool.

And I photographed more sun flares. A sun returns. Roses rejoice. We all rejoice.

And the sun sank behind the trees to a gentle goodnight.

I hope you got to enjoy the eclipse, too!

Camping Pioneer Style

Living with CMT this May