Yesterday, I chased the moon chasing the sun and caught up with it in Albuquerque. There, I watched moon watchers watching the moon’s antics and celebrated the uncommon eclipse with wine drunk from a water bottle.
They slowly gathered on the irrigated green lawn of a park above the wider valley of dry and brown that surrounds the city. Photographers first, families last, they toted cameras and telescopes and coolers and children, arriving eager and enthusiastic, and then waited.
Frisbees were thrown, potato salad served up, cameras and telescopes admired, and tales told. One man I met said he had watched the total eclipse in 1948.
We strangers who together stopped life long enough to shift our focus skyward were connected for a moment in time. We were comrades on the top of a hill, collectively waiting for a much-hyped show.
There was loud applause when the ring of fire finally appeared. Rabbits ran back under brush. Dogs squirmed and whined. And the audience quieted for the finale. They watched the sky turn a deep shade of yellow and then darken, as the sun and the moon that chased it slipped below the horizon, stage West.
Thank you to John Baumchen for sharing four of the many fabulous photos he captured of the eclipse. You can see more of his photographs at http://www.johnbmedia.com/.