… on attention deficit during an eclipse
August 23, 2017
There was an eclipse!
No, I’m not kidding – it happened yesterday. It wasn’t widely reported so only a few people who had cosmotological… wait… climate-ological… okay maybe lunar-cological connections would have known about it.
It turned out that some people across the country got to observe a total lunar eclipse, but then other parts of the country got only a partial lunar eclipse. In our family, First-Born Mac and Half-Kid Jack were the closest to where there was a total eclipse and we found out their sun – as opposed to our sun (we are a very possessive family) – was gong to be 90% blotted out. Sam’s sun was going to be 75% incognito. Ours was totally underachieving with only 60% of it enshrouded.
So our feeling was that it wasn’t going to be very exciting at all, especially compared to Mac&Jack’s (all one word now) and Sam’s experiences. So we decided to do exactly nothing about it.
But then 1:45 in the afternoon rolled around and I was working at my desk and something started to change. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and looked outside and the light was all strange and pre-stormy. So I typed in ‘when is the eclipse going to hit Southport Maine’ and my computer spat back out that it was going to be at its height at 2:45, but had begun about 1:30!
So I called JoHn and told him we needed to head to the beach… and STAT! (Having watched lots of people play medical professionals on TV, he knew what I meant).
We jumped into the baby car, threw down the top and headed to the beach, all the way noting how funky the light was (and also that it seemed to be getting colder).
We didn’t have glasses or a homemade box or a saltine or anything…
I saw a photo that someone shot, of the eclipse, using the holes in a saltine to cast shadows on a business card. Totally worked. Thirteen little eclipses showed up. That guy is my creative-thinking hero.
But it was okay that we didn’t have those things because I ended up being distracted anyway. I couldn’t even look at the sun or take any photos of it because I’d read that my eyes and my camera would blow up.
Plus I got kind of distracted once I got there because there was this Golden Retriever and this Newfoundland and the Newfie was… well, look.
That Newfie (dressed in black fur) is not swimming. He is sitting.
And he sat and waited and waited until the Golden Retriever retrieved.
He didn’t seem like he knew he had webbed swimming paws at all. Maybe an identity crisis. I don’t know because I’m not a psychiatrist.
The Golden Retriever was clearly a very good friend of his, because he allowed the Newfie to share in the accomplishment of retrieving the thing.
Which I thought was very nice.
Also, the Golden Retriever’s name was Decker.
I know this because ‘Decker’ had some very hover-y owners and every time he veered toward a nearby child or boat or floating piece of seaweed, both of Decker’s ‘parents’ screamed – in increasing shrillness with each repetition – Decker… Decker, DECKER! (I have no fonts larger than that available to me).
But they were very cute and I could have watched them all day but I had to get back to the eclipse.
These little cuties are called plovers – semipalmated plovers to be more exact. And they were hysterical!
These two broke off from a big group that was practicing some sort of synchronized plover routine should the need for a flash dance mob of shorebirds arise.
They raced (above), and then stopped.
And then raced again…
And then stopped.
Then raced again and again and again, stopping between races to make little peep-y noises before racing all over again.
And then, apparently, I made a noise because…
It turned into a very strange stare down (“Odd for the semipalmated plover.” I thought, scientifically.)
But then I found out that we were all supposed to watch wildlife closely while the eclipse was happening.
Seriously! This is from audubon.com:
So what exactly should contributors look for? “Focus on the change,” Ricard says. “Did vocalizations stop? Did a new species appear or disappear? Did movements change? Did a flower fold its petals or a bird return to the nest? We are hoping to use the power and numbers of citizen science to collect as much data and as many observations as possible.”
Kind of creepy, actually. I’m now calling them Big Brother Audubon. But I digress…
Did your brain fart on that second request like mine did?
‘Did a new species appear or disappear?’
How does that even happen?
Well I will tell you.
I was right there, with these two teeny birds staring me down, and one minute this was happening:
And then I blinked.
Total eclipse of the psycho staring pipers.
Absolutely writing to Big Brother Audubon.
They even left behind their freaky little shadows!
Nah. Just kidding.
The sun started to come back out and they high-tailed their little arses back to their freaky piper flash mob…
And all was right (and bright) with the world again.
You know, until next time.
Which is on April 8, 2024 when a total eclipse will be visible in Maine baby!
I just ordered my glasses from Walmart.
Thanks for readin’.
At the end of my posts, for forever, I’ve put “As always, come on over to Just Ponderin’s Facebook page to comment <3′ because my comments were not turned on, on the blog itself. But now they are!
But I will still say come on over to the Facebook page whenever you want – to comment or just to be – because it’s easier to converse in real-time there with the other ponderers (and me!) too!