They’ll chase an eclipse…clear across the ocean if they have to. They are umbraphiles. The Shadow Lovers. In 1972, Marcy Sigler chartered a ship, gathered 830 of her closest friends, and took off across the waters from
New York to Nova Scotia to chase the eclipse and make it last as long as possible. There won’t be another total solar eclipse viewable in the continental United States for 180 some odd years so there are, as you well have seen, a gazillion umbraphiles coming out of the closet.
There are a lot of weird warnings out about the solar eclipse and it’s affect on everything from pregnancy to pets. An Indian newspaper recently warned women not to go outside during an eclipse to keep them from giving birth to a blind baby or one with a cleft lip. Eskimo women must place their cooking utensil upside down during an eclipse to ward off diseases. Also, some Indians wash their eyes out with urine during an eclipse to keep your eyes from ever hurting again.
I just received an e-mail from some veterinary outfit warning everyone to bring their pets into the house during a solar eclipse to prevent them from “looking up at the sun and being blinded”. Ok…is there a rash of beagles going outside at noon on any given day and staring at the sun? And if that’s the case, how about cats, and rats, and elephants? Actually, animals don’t take much notice of the sun. Pets may take notice of your excitement and react to that. You don’t need to put those cute little glasses on FiFi but if it will make you feel better, you can bring your pets in, draw the shades and let them watch the eclipse on television like respectable animals.
That being said, there may be some behavioral changes in the animal kingdom. Birds that roost may become quiet and prepare for a nap while nocturnal creatures may get the signal to wake up. The darkest moments of the eclipse occurs so quickly though that those night critters will probably just yawn and turn over and go back to sleep.
Now, one very real thing that may occur is the decrease in electricity from all the solar arrays in the path of the eclipse. As more and more communities produce more and more solar energy, an eclipse may be more noticeable with decreased output…especially when the eclipse occurs during the summer and during peak energy use times of the summer. I’m not sure what will happen, but there some potential for disruption.
I was wondering if anyone has calculated the carbon footprint of the eclipse and how all the increased driving and production of waste would affect the environment. But maybe I’m just being too, you know, scientific here. It’s still a pretty cool event and if you have a chance to watch one, you really should. Just remember to never stare at the sun without the proper protection. Be safe and have fun tomorrow. We’ll talk Tuesday about what you did and what you saw! ❤️
“The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.”
Joel 3:15 NIV