Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Totality

We had a cloudy sky today, with pretty dense clouds in the East from 5.15 in the morning, when I first looked out. Just last night I'd thought I wouldn't mind missing the total eclipse if it rained heavily. It looked like we would have neither! Anyway, we had a plan ready - we would drive towards the south, taking the road to Gairkata, from where we might get a different looking sky. We started at around 6.15. By the time we'd driven for a few minutes, the sun had moved behind a thinner layer of clouds. There were little breaks in these clouds. We had welder's glass with us, and I saw the 3/4 crescent through it, so we stopped. There were some puddles on the ground, and we kept looking at the sun in them. We were the only two people there.

Just before totality, the sun came out of the clouds and we saw our shadows on the grass in that weird light. The wind dropped and it was very still. When totality began, we couldn't see the eclipsed sun at all. The clouds ate it up. But it became really dark, much darker than I expected, and two or three trucks went past with headlights on. We could barely see each other, and the trees around us had become shadows. It felt strange - scary, even though we knew it was going to happen. We never saw that blacked out sun, but it wasn't a total washout either.

Back home, the night watchman looked relieved to see us again. He told us it had become dark suddenly and that he had run and switched on as many lights as he could.