I’ll follow the sun

Today’s guest picture shows Blencathra in the Lake District.  My brother took the picture when he went for a walk on the hill.

BlencathraWe were due a 95% eclipse of the sun today and I was completely flabbergasted when I woke up and saw some blue sky that made it look as though we might actually witness this great sight.  I was less surprised when it clouded over shortly before the start of the event.  Such is life, I thought.

Still, I went out into the garden just in case and was very fortunate to find that there was just enough cloud at the crucial time to make it possible to view the sun and take pictures without special equipment.  I viewed the sun and took pictures.  I have tried to make a little sequence that will show the passage of the moon over the hour and a quarter that I was able to see it.  The cloud cover was variable from complete cover to none.

eclipse march 2015
9.05  The first sighting.
eclipse march 2015
eclipse march 2015
eclipse march 2015
9.33 Nearly the maximum cover
eclipse march 2015
9.37 Beginning to go away
eclipse march 2015
9.45  Going….
eclipse march 2015
9.50 ….going….
eclipse march 2015
9.59 …going…

It got so cloudy that I gave up and went in.  I popped out later just in case and got one last shot before the clouds covered the whole thing up.

eclipse march 2015
10.20 Almost gone

Oddly enough, perhaps because it was quite cloudy, it didn’t get as dark as we thought that it would but the temperature dropped by 2 degrees C during the event.

For those interested in such things, I was using my Nikon D7000 hand held with a 70-300 mm zoom with a neutral density filter.  I was shooting on manual settings at 1/8000th with the ISO at 100 and at anything from f35 to f5 depending on the cloud cover.  It’s not often that you can get to stand in your own garden and record such a thing so I was grateful for my good fortune.

I got some quite pretty effects purely by chance as the clouds came and went.  I have put one of them in here.

eclipse march 2015
This gives a reasonable view of what we were actually looking at.

When the eclipse had gone, Dropscone arrived bringing treacle scones.  He had been cycling round the morning run while the eclipse had been going on and had tried to catch it on his mobile phone but as he has difficulty seeing the screen when he is outside, he hadn’t been very successful.  His treacle scones were very successful though.

By twelve o’clock the sun had come out again and I took a walk round the garden.  A viola has come to join us.

violaThe main bunches if daffodils are getting ready to flower and one or two have jumped the gun.

daffodilThere were very few birds about today at all but I did see two blackbirds on the lawn…

two blackbirds…and a dove from above in the plum tree.

collared dove
Collared dove

One chaffinch did arrive at the feeder but looked really shocked to find herself there.

chaffinchThe pond was once again full of frogs but instead of diving for cover as soon as my shadow fell on the water as they usually do, most of them lay still on the surface breathing heavily.  Perhaps they had been baffled by the eclipse.

frogI had some breadcrumbs and put them out on the lawn and before I was back indoors, the jackdaws had swooped.

jackdawAfter lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal had a discussion with the painter who is going to help with the redecoration of the front room when the builders have finished their work. There was much talk of shades and dado rails which went past me but when asked for my opinion, I nodded sagely and agreed with everything.  It is the best way.

Although the clouds had returned and a bit of a breeze was blowing, the day was still nice enough to tempt Mrs Tootlepedal out for a cycle ride.

garmin 20 March 2015The 14 mph wind was persistent and not in a very helpful direction so the fourteen mile trip round the Barnglieshead loop took us quite some time as you can see.

I had Pocketcam in my back pocket but I had already taken a lot of pictures and nothing jumped out and said. “Shoot me,” so it stayed in my pocket.

My shoulder seems to be benefiting from the injection yesterday and my knee is in good shape, improving in function and beauty every day so I have little to complain about.  However, my  regular Friday evening accompanist has gone to New Zealand to see her grandchildren there so I was able to complain about a flute free Friday night.

We fully expected to see a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth in the streets and a rush to propitiate the gods when the eclipse happened but the people of Langholm took it in their stride.  An important event perhaps but not quite as important as the Common Riding.

I just got a flying bird from our very few visitors but only by a millimetre or so.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “I’ll follow the sun

  1. Your photographs of the eclipse are a ‘tour de force’. It is not too much to say that I am stunned by your easy competence, well done indeed.

    Glad shoulder and knee are in good working order again, hope the injection continues to help.

  2. Great sequence of shots, Mr T. Well done. You were very lucky. We had the same bright start to the day which clouded over as the eclipse got closer. There were a couple of breaks, which allowed brief glimpses of the wonder, but before it was complete we lost all sight. I am so thankful that the good people of Langholm did not panic.

  3. I am so grateful for your exceptional photographs of the eclipse. Our cloud cover was so thick I saw absolutely nothing of it. We had (apparently) an 85% eclipse so it just got very gloomy and then brightened up again.

  4. Exceptional eclipse pictures! We had a lunar eclipse happen a few months back but I was unable to get many decent shots. I find eclipses exciting events. I still remember my first experience of one as a child. I looked at the sun when I wasn’t supposed to and was afraid for days afterwards that I would go blind. Interesting to watch these small shapes in the sky change and realise just how enormous the bodies really are.

  5. Interesting eclipse pics Tootle. All I saw was some rain – some darker rain – and some rain again.

  6. What a wonderful series of shots, so atmospheric. We had 100% cloud cover so it just seemed perhaps a fraction greyer than usual. Glad you had a chance to see it and take those beautiful photos.

  7. Glad to see the full eclipse sequence. Because of a) assumptions that there’d not be anything to see, and b) the fact I had to go out, I only caught middle bits myself. On the other hand, I let my camera decide all the settings. I wouldn’t have known where to start!
    Are you getting any butterflies yet? I’ve had single instances of brimstone, small tortoiseshell and peacock in the last week. And I have to admit that but for the weekly BTO return I wouldn’t have taken much interest in the matter.

      1. Makes sense! Meanwhile, I hope you’re finding the magazine as interesting as I am, and also the book.

  8. Great photos of the eclipse! The collared dove looks resigned to being photographed (“being beautiful is such a curse” 🙂 ). the Bean Counter also employs the nodding sagely and agreeing method of interior decorating.

  9. You were eclipsed eh? I meant to get up for the event, but the stresses and strains of my night shift, my pedal home, along with the, now, famous missed photograph of the black buzzard and magpies led me to remain in my bed. The view down here in this part of Wales, was, I’m told pretty good, and most agree that it didn’t get as dark as was expected. If the eclipse had happened while I was en route home, no doubt I still would have failed to get my camera out in time! Cheers.

      1. “Too old to work”, no, that’s not how I’d call it, “a well earned retirement with hopefully the benefit of being able to do. the things, one didn’t have a lot of time to do, while putting bread on the table.” I hope, wistfully, I never get to the point of saying I feel too old for work. Only time, and good fortune will tell. Cheers.

  10. Great narrative flow with the eclipse! On one of my visits to the Sylvia Beach Hotel, Carol and I sat at dinner with a most interesting couple, retired teachers who travel all around the world to see eclipses; if there is an eclipse that is best viewed from China, that’s where they would go.

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