Me Chasing Moon, Chasing Sun

Valley of Eclipse
Albuquerque, New Mexico 5/20/2012


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.

Long View


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.

Final Eclipse


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.

Photo by John Baumchen

Photo by John Baumchen

Photo by John Baumchen

Photo by John Baumchen

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

65 thoughts on “Me Chasing Moon, Chasing Sun

  1. Beautiful photos! I was lucky enough to see a similar eclipse in the ’90s back in Illinois. It’s easy to understand why our ancestors thought the world might be ending when they occurred.

  2. Winsomebella -Thanks for sharing! We were so disappointed on the east coast to hear we would not be able to see the eclipse. The photos (and your descriptions of the camaraderie) are so good I feel I was there!

  3. Chills and tears – this gives me wonderful chills and tears. The gathering of strangers reminds me of the last shuttle launch, which we experienced in June last year.
    Thank you so much for sharing these pictures and words with us. Thanks to John B., too

  4. A galactic ballet or the end of the world?

    It was wonderful to have John B’s photographs, particularly the time lapse progression of the eclipse, but your essay of the gathering was what tickled me. I love the way these celestial phenomena link us to our earliest forebears, and you can see this in the faces you captured – still rapt by the workings of the universe.

  5. We could see it here in Northern California. It was interesting to me to see how various people reacted to this very rare experience. Beautiful pictures – thanks. T

  6. Thank YOU for sharing his photos, and your own. Most of us weren’t anywhere near a viewing spot…you were lucky enough to find a great one, and a community party, from the sound of it!

  7. Fantastic work! Thanks to both of you! Not sure if it was visible anywhere around Chicago. Storm clouds had threatened our trip to the beach, and by sunset we were tucking in my granddaughters— I think it was raining.

  8. Thank you for these amazing photos. I really wanted to get some shots of the super moon last week but we were clouded over for days. You are so fortunate to have been there and able to experience this.

  9. It’s encouraging to know there are still people around who literally applaud the beauty of nature. Thank you for capturing this event for the rest of us. Beautiful post, as always.

  10. How fun! I took a shower before it started and it was over before I toweled off. Your afternoon sounds so much better.

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