Thursday, April 11, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024 Indianapolis, IN


It was odd, eerie, interesting… for close to an hour, the sky dimmed slowly – then at totality, it got dark rather suddenly – enough that the street lights came on. An action cam I had set up on us to record the ambience captured the darkness, as did my trail cam, which switched to IR mode for the nearly 4 minutes of totality.

Flo wasn’t expecting to feel weird, emotionally – but, quite unexpectedly, became dizzy and nauseated, which lasted a while after the event. Migrating geese tend to stop-over here this time of year, and they went a bit nuts Monday, flying, flapping and honking as if they were quite disturbed; other birds made more noise than usual, and zipped around as if they were confused. Our cat Marcus, who likes to hang out with us outside, sat calmly on the front steps, bathing, as if nothing at all interesting was happening. Near where I stood, a swarm of ants appeared; they weren’t there just before the totality – I have no explanation for that.

For me, it was… pleasantly eerie. Jet contrails randomly criss-crossed the sky Monday, dozens more than are normal for here, but the sky was clear enough for the eclipse duration. It was much darker than I’d experienced at a partial eclipse years ago, and I have to agree that totality is more intense and odd-feeling than any partial. Some of that, of course, is just the novelty – if this routinely happened once a week, it wouldn’t be a big deal, I’m sure. Still, it does manage to tug at the emotions, on a primal level. A predictable glitch in the routine continuity of what we label as normal.

Photographically, I seem to have a bit of a theme going on here. Years ago, for a magazine illustration, I photographed a coyote skull and placed it in front of a full moon. Last summer, I captured a huge bat fluttering across the Super Blue Moon. While at the computer a few years back, I heard Flo shriek as she looked out the back door – a huge spider was spinning a web the size of a bed sheet, between the gutter and the back porch – I photographed the spider, then later added a full moon I’d snapped out front, to the image. Here's a 4-second video of a bat flying across the Super Blue Moon last August:

The last total solar eclipse viewable from Indianapolis took place in September of 1205, C.E., and totality then didn't completely cover what would someday be the entire city, as its original 1820 boundaries were later redefined by Unigov to encompass the majority of Marion County.

Pioneers once claimed that the forests here were so dense that a squirrel could hop tree-to-tree from the Ohio border to Illinois, without once having to set foot on Indiana soil. That might have made the viewing parties a bit trickier, back in 1205.

Click here for Flo's take on the eclipse:

If you might be interested in any of my moon photos, I'll be adding more products here:

At the beginning - Action Cam

 During the eclipse

 Trail Cam during totality

Moment of Totality: