Happy Eclipse Day! Some home renovation issues kept me in New Jersey for the eclipse. I set up a Nikon D810a camera with 45 mm f/2.8 lens and a 20 stop neutral density filter to take images every 4 minutes from just before the eclipse started. Unfortunately, clouds moved in just before the maximum (~78% coverage). The sun and moon reappeared shortly thereafter. The following image is a composite over the 160 minute period of the eclipse. The eclipse also reduced the amount of electricity produced by my solar panels. The two graphs show the hourly production of electricity for the day before the eclipse and during the eclipse. You can see a significant drop when the moon was blocking the sun. My brother Hans was in Tennessee with his family to observe the total eclipse. He sent me an image that he took with a Nikon D3 camera and a 200-400 mm f/4 lens and TC-E II 2.0 teleconverter at totality.
I stopped at the Arthur Morgan school near Burnsville, North Carolina to pick up three folks that spent eight weeks attending the the 2017 Arete project. We then traveled north on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The well drilling company arrived early this morning to drill two holes for a closed-loop geothermal heat pump. The heat pump will replace my oil furnace, oil hot-water heater, and air conditioner. One more step to reduce my carbon footprint.
Two of the Burma water-bottle gourds in my wildflower meadow flowered today. It seem like they open at night when the moon is nearly full. I don’t know if a night moth is needed to fertilize to get one of the gourds. The one planted over a year ago in Florida produced a gourd over 1 meter in length. The image of the flower is behind a nylon mesh that I hope will keep it protected from the deer tonight.
First Monarch Butterfly of the season on a Red Cosmos flower in my wildflower meadow. I have seen them along with yellow and black swallowtail butterflies the last few days, but finally found one that stayed in place long enough to have its picture taken.