Eclipsed Sunlight; Cattitude by Ultraviolet

12:00 noon August 21, 2017, one minute after eclipse began

12:01 pm ย August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017. Our area had about 90% occlusion of sun by moon shadow, from about 11:59 AM to 2:57 PM, max coverage about 1:30 PM, CST. I didn’t photograph the eclipse itself, although we did view it through a heavy duty welder’s helmet. Instead I photographed the light in the forest that you don’t see every day. These partial light photos may resemble twilight and the photos may not fully convey the difference in weird eclipse light and regular twilight. None of these outside photos have been enhanced. It’s already autumn, I know, I’m late posting this. But we’ll get to fall later; we’re still having warm weather anyway, with only a few specks of color.

Ultraviolet is a smart cat

“That light ain’t right, no way, no how!” Ultraviolet the Cat chimes in. “I’m a light expert. I lived outside. And I listened in on physics lectures at the University.”

“Um, I know … and our guy knows a lot about physics.”

“Oh a lot has changed since he was in school. Anyways my picture is enhanced.”

“True, but the eclipse scenes are not.”

This will be an incomplete eclipse light record because it was one of those partly cloudy days when fairly full sun and cloud cover kept swapping around. So I’d wait for a little sunshine for the moon’s shadow to mess with, then step outside.

12:10 pm August 21. 2017

12:18 pm August 21, 2017

12:19 pm August 21, 2017

12:30 pm August 21, 2017

12:30 pm August 21, 2017 getting there

12:38 pm August 21, 2017

12:38 pm August 21, 2017 lovely not-twilight light

12:38 pm August 21, 2017 Crescent shadows mingle with leaf shadows

We had a few signs of autumn in the forest in August, and on a regular day you could see a few hints of red in late afternoon when certain light intensities at a certain slant would bring the red of a few turning leaves into view. But I swear, those particular red spots had a greater degree of visibility during the eclipse, though you may not be able to see it in the pictures because the eyes and the camera see differently. I take a photo of one place in the canopy and its surroundings every day, as part of a long-term project to track this magical forest display as it changes in all seasons.

August 21, 2017 1:21 pm approaching max at 90%

1:21 pm August 21, 2017

1:21 pm August 21, 2017 eerie not-twilight

The closest we got to totality, max sun blockage at 90%, around 1:30 pm.

1:30 pm August 21, 2017, at max sun coverage

August 21, 2017, 1:31 pm. Ya don’t see light like this every day

We had to leave for awhile. We came back to regular ole everyday light.

The eclipse had been over for awhile when we got back to the house 4:46 pm August 21, 2017

Bud takes a moment and pops in from the Rainbow Bridge

“Phssssst. Who is that floofer, anyway!?”

“Hey, Budster! Ultraviolet presented this post.”

“Phssssst. And just who is that up on the banner where my momcat Annabelle used to be!?”

“Um, that’s our friend’s cat.” Ultraviolet starts to phsssssst too.

It’s a regular phsssssstfest around here, a three-way hissing match between my ghostly feline editor, my budding in-house feline editor, and my friend’s tortie as viewed above. Each cat swears to eclipse both those Othercats at once. I tell them it doesn’t work that way, but to no avail. Even smart cats can’t do phssssssst and physics at the same time. Sigh.

More about the banner cat later!

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
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37 Responses to Eclipsed Sunlight; Cattitude by Ultraviolet

  1. Pazlo says:

    Cool pix!
    I shot lots of pics of the eclipse, but few of the surrounding atmosphere.
    I did soundscapes, too, as part of citizen science, to record the reactions of birds and other wildlife during the event.
    They didn’t appear to notice much, frankly.
    Hey to Bud in the beyond, and welcome to the new kid.

    Seek peace,


    • Catwoods says:

      Glad you enjoyed the pics, Pazlo! Also glad you got to see the eclipse, and listen for wildlife reaction. If they didn’t react much, even that is interesting compared to whatever responses other locations report. Bud and Ultraviolet and I thank you for your greetings! Best wishes always!

  2. chattykerry says:

    A lovely post, Leah. I really enjoyed the eclipse, too, even in the south. You could feel it darken and then the temperature dropped. Some of my neighbors didn’t noticed a thing! Sometimes you need to stop and feast on nature. Is Miss UV getting any less reddish or is she still a Titian delight?

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Kerry! I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures, and also that you got to experience the eclipse directly yourself. We were working when the last one, also a partial here, occurred sometime in the ’80’s. We did get to use the welder’s helmet to view that one, and I noticed the odd light, with streetlights coming on, but we didn’t have a camera with us. So this time I was determined to try to capture the light, just a little. I love the way you said that, Kerry, “Titian delight” describes our girl, she’s staying reddish. Strangest black fur I’ve ever seen!

      • chattykerry says:

        I think I recall one in the 80s, too. I am fascinated by UVs fur. You will have to update us with photographs of her as the months go on. ๐Ÿ’ž

        • Catwoods says:

          I will update, Kerry, although it will take me some time. I have a bunch of pics of her and I’m trying to photo edit some. She’s a challenge to photo edit, with two colors in her fur. I don’t see any real change in the colors, but each picture reveals new details. For instance, I think the edges of her front paws are redder, while the tops are deep black.

  3. inesephoto says:

    Amazing celestial event. Dear Bud, he is such a beautiful cat. I wonder if they could watch the eclipse from the rainbow bridge. Who can tell for sure.

    • Catwoods says:

      It really was astonishing to see! Bud loves to hear he is a beautiful cat, thank you inesephoto. It would be nice if those at the rainbow bridge could experience the eclipse also!

  4. DS Levy says:

    Hi, Leah! Sorry I’m late getting around to commenting – turns out, it’s been an exceptionally busy autumn. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love these photos, and I find them fascinating because my husband and I went down to Franklin, KY (actually, we went over into Tennessee but them came back north a mile or so) to watch the eclipse. I’m so glad we went down to see that incredible light! And I can see the gradations, the changes in light in your photos as well. Wasn’t that eclipse amazing? I still can’t get over it. And I must say I love the photo of UV AND of Bud – of course, Bud must check in, as I know he is doing, watching over you and your husband on a daily basis. My love to UV – what a smart kitty! Deb

    • Catwoods says:

      Hi Deb, happy to see you here and there’s never any rush; it’s turned into a crazy busy fall for me, and us, too. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, I felt they were a little drab and yet interesting. Of course, no photo really portrays what we saw. I’m glad you got to see the eclipse at it’s most total, lol! I bet that was astonishing! If we were younger and healthier we would have driven to the zone of totality, it was certainly close enough this time. Bud does hang around and I miss him so much – and so many others too of course. UV says thank you for appreciating her! She is a great comfort to have, another little adventure, and scary smart! Warmest wishes to you and your family, kitties, and puppy dog, always! Leah

      • DS Levy says:

        Leah, I’ll tell you this about our “totality day” — it was “totality” long, LOL. Took us 6 hours to get to southern KY, then waited for 2 minutes and 26 seconds, then got in car and drove home — in a traffic jam! LOL But it was fun, and would do it again. So glad Bud is hanging around – I figured as much. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m sure UV feels his vibe (I think cats and dogs are so much more attuned to that other world) and greatly appreciates his guidance. Wishing you and yours and splendid autumn (it’s finally, FINALLY getting here in the Midwest). Deb

        • Catwoods says:

          Sounds like a draining day, Deb, but one of those experiences that are totally worth it, remembered fondly forever. I would like to think Bud is still around, and all our other past cats, you are right, maybe UV can tell. Two strong personalities, there could lots going on in that other world, for sure! Same good wishes to y’all for the autumn, glad yours is coming on! Ours is always slow, but I think this year it got started early, then stalled out somewhere along the way, LOL.

  5. RMW says:

    Neither the cats or I had protective glasses so we couldn’t look at the eclipse. I happened to be in Santa Monica that day and it was fun looking at all the crowds of people looking up through their dark glasses and cell phones! That was more fun than seeing the eclipse!

    • Catwoods says:

      Oh I bet that was fun RMW, being in the crowd and feeling the excitement, like being at a concert! There was a gathering in town but it wasn’t feasible for us to go. In fact, if we’d been younger and healthier, we likely would have driven about 5 hours to the zone of totality. However, we did have fun and then afterwards it was fun to look at our amateur pictures and those of others, as well as those taken by the pros!

  6. Cate says:

    Love your attention to light, and especially the leaf shadows. Looks like they were a hit with a lot of your readers!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks, Cate, I’m glad you liked the pictures! The leaf shadows were loads of fun! I think most people photographed those more than anything else, except for the eclipse itself by those who had the right equipment. My camera instructions say not to shoot into the sun, so I didn’t try that. I had more than enough fun with the weird light!

  7. cat9984 says:

    Beautiful pictures. Maybe Bud could continue to edit words and Ultraviolet could do the pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you cat9984, I’m glad you liked the pictures! That’s a sensible suggestion about each cat editing a different area, I will suggest that and see what they think ….

  8. Mollie Hunt says:

    The hot-quite twilight at 1:21 is transporting. What a beautiful place to be!

  9. niasunset says:

    You did a wonderful post and idea to take the moments in the forest, loved so much. And yes, cats, all of them are a new story dear Leah, and I love them so much and also I miss too. Still I have not any cat. But soon someone will find me, I do believe this. Thank you, have a nice day, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Nia, I am so glad you enjoyed my pictures! Like you, I miss the kitty I just lost so deeply. I’m very happy we were able to have another cat, and I hope that one day you will too. I know it does take time and everything has to unfold of itself. I hope a new cat will happen for you soon! Best wishes always and with love, Leah

  10. Lauren says:

    All beautiful photos! The color and light are exquisite, and it’s great to see Bud again, even in a photo-apparition. ^-.-^

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Lauren, I’m glad you liked the eclipse photos. I had to work fast and I thought they turned out a little somber, but did sort of show the peculiar light. I didn’t want to brighten them in photo-editing since that would add another element and maybe fail to convey the character of the light. I’m glad you liked seeing Bud, we both miss him so much! Ultraviolet is marvelous but I miss my Bud too.

  11. I love the crescent shadows!

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