The flash

I hope you haven't seen too many eclipse photos to tire of them, since I have some to share. Never seeing a total eclipse, I wanted to experience totality so went to Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. I had an open spot in mind that I'd hiked to four years before in an area called Bell Smith Springs that had some open sky.

I got there early and a few photographers had set up tripods and families had set up blankets and picnics, and young kids played in the water catching crawdads.

 

 Mill Branch Spring, Shawnee National Forest

Mill Branch Spring, Shawnee National Forest

I envisioned getting a reflection of the eclipse in the water, but realized the sun would be too high in the sky.

 Mill Branch Spring, Shawnee National Forest

Mill Branch Spring, Shawnee National Forest

Eventually about 50 people gathered in the area as the sky began to darken.

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Here's a composite of some phases of the eclipse.

 

solar eclipse Shawnee NF-363 composite.jpg

Although it had gotten quite dusky, suddenly it was as if the light switch was turned off, and the sun replaced with an odd slate blue ring. The corona seemed to spread and spread as the solar winds reached out. Later when looking at the images, I noticed the flares near the surface at about 3 and 5 o'clock in this image.

 Totality. August 21, 2017

Totality. August 21, 2017

And with a flash, time started back again.

solar eclipse Shawnee NF-472.jpg