Celestial and Planetary Events

How did you spend the 2024 total solar eclipse? We spent it on a deck in Myrtle Beach, following the local action on a tablet so as not to risk our eyesight. As you can see from the ambient sunlight, there wasn’t much local action, even close to the peak.


But the moon had more in store for us that week. Just two days later we sat on the same deck after dark as Venus winked at us (that bright pinprick, lower left) and the new moon held water. Counter-intuitively to me, that’s supposed to mean that we would have rain in a few days.

And indeed we did. In a few days and for a few days.


Happily for me, the rain let up at one of the roadside rest stations in Virginia, allowing one redbud photo and a quick shot of some soggy red tulips.


We spent one night on the road. The hotel’s new-to-me thermostat had two modes:

  • snowflake (which I took, correctly, to mean cooling)
  • mother-&-baby penguin (shown here, which for some reason meant heating)

The technology continues to stay one step ahead of me.

As we crossed the St. Lawrence River, I glanced back. Ah, two of my favourites: a bridge and a reflection.


Not that the raindrops or the grey sky are my favourites, but in everything from eclipses to weather, I might just as well be happy with what I get because being cranky doesn’t change a thing.

This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Laughing Frequently, Photos of Built Stuff, Photos of Flora and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Celestial and Planetary Events

  1. John L Whitman says:

    Isabel – your mother and baby penguin look more like the two parts of a candle flame to me. But that is just me.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – 🙂 I’m pretty sure that was the graphical intent: to indicate a flame of some sort. Which I realized when I got home and saw a similar (but slightly differently proportioned) glyph on our thermostat. D’oh.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    What wonderful changes you managed to get on camera.

  3. Jim Robertson says:

    All nicely seen Isabel. I’m with you re the mother penguin. Nice bridge scene

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – 🙂 The trouble with the penguin was that once I’d seen it like that, I couldn’t un-see it, if you know what I mean. Re the bridge, I may start a collection of bridge reflections in windows/mirrors. I got a nice shot of the Firth-of-Forth Bridge in a window several years ago.

  4. Marilyn Smith says:

    Isabel, I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned the ‘face’ below the thermostat! And welcome back!

  5. Thank you for the reminder that a redbud tree is a glory and that rainy day tulips are still delicious.

    I want that bon mot “Cranky Doesn’t Change A Thing” in letters a foot high on every wall in my house. I might adopt it as a motto for my emails to Certain People, too. I am inspired by your side-mirror captures, as most of my inner life for the past several years feels like that. Not that I don’t love the mementos, but what happened to the Main Event? As I pause, thanks to you, to look out over my computer to the scantily clad April trees, I wonder why I had never before noticed that their tall boles and interwoven raised branches make Gothic arches like the bays in the nave of a cathedral. The design is repeated with smaller limbs at the “clerestory” level. There it stands in sun and rain, snow and starlight, at the edge of my own backyard. As a high school chorister, I sang “The Green Cathedral,” wondering if it strayed too far from the bricks, mortar, and rituals of the institutions I knew. Today, my thoughts are more aligned with the composers’ (Gordon Johnstone and Carl Hahn). Perhaps, if I stopped oftener to pay attention, I would see the Main Event emerging through the side mirrors. Might it be that the bridge has been crossed and I am already in new territory?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – 🙂 I have a photo of a restaurant sign saying: No Whining. Odd that the world doesn’t remake itself for my dissatisfaction, but there it is. Re your almost-bare trees, and seeing them in their stark beauty, I follow a Brit on Twitter who posts a photo of a tree every day, from his day. In all stages of their cycle, they are remarkable. As are you.

  6. Judith Umbach says:

    A visual journey in a handful of delightful photos. Rain – shine – indoors – outdoors – day – night! Evocative record of your return. Thanks for bringing us along.

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