May 20, 2012 just ended. Well, that was awesome. After a bite of food, we drove to the nearby Boulder Reservoir near the unincorporated village of Niwot (northeast Boulder), where we hung out on a bench enjoying the lakeside beauty of the much smaller ‘Coot Lake’. Not getting special viewing glasses was definitely a mistake (as only those make staring at the sun safe), but with sunglasses and CD’s we got to see it too.
Here are some photos of this lovely evening:
Only holding the sunglasses in front of the camera doesn’t do much, although it shows the pretty setting with the Rocky Mountains in the distance:
But adding a CD (the shiny ones without blur-causing printing), not only looks funny:
It also works:
It’s a little harder to photograph with, as it creates image distortions like these, when held right up to the lens. But you get the idea. It’s a lovely sight:
And then, 25 minutes before maximum eclipse, a big thundercloud hung out over the front range… Which was wonderful too, just different. Kinda nice that it made us be more with the feeling, than with the visual show. Definitely interesting… Can’t put my finger on it…
That hill (small mountain), close to Niwot, often reminds me of the indigenous history of this region. To quote from http://bcn.boulder.co.us/community/niwot/ :
“[Niwot] was named after an Arapahoe indian chief, Chief Niwot (niwot means “left hand” in Arapahoe language). He and his friendly tribe were inhabiting this vast “Left Hand Valley” when the white settlers arrived. Chief Niwot was well known, in the area, at the time. Chief Niwot was an intelligent (could speak English; often an interpreter in “white man’s” negotiations/conversations) Arapahoe indian; Chief of this friendly Arapahoe Indian tribe, who lay claim to this immediate territory. The tribe’s encampment was on Left Hand Creek, about 3 miles west of of the present village, near Haystack Mountain. This was a favorite lookout point for buffalo which roamed in the Gunbarrel area. Stone tepee groundings can, still, be found, there. After the “Sand Creek massacre”, the Arapahoe tribe left the area; the end to an era of community living.”
A short walk further is the big Boulder Reservoir, from where Boulder’s part of the Front Range can be seen:
It was a wonderful evening.
- Nothing truly unusual happened seismically (globally speaking); USGS (Add-on May 21: …apart from the 6.0 in Northern Italy, and a 6.4 off Honshu, Japan, and a 5.6 in western Hungary, all within a day, but those are technically all ‘normal’ as far as I know, at least in the big scheme of things)
- And the NATO summit drew some protests, with all that are part of that (from fun and good vibes to clashes with much-better-armed police). See Chicago Tribune video report here.
- !–> Awesome photos of the annular solar eclipse everywhere (here’s a good photo collection on the Denver Post).
- I particularly like this one from NASA at the very beginning of the eclipse: