Monday, May 21, 2012


Big sky-watching day yesterday, what with the annular eclipse and all. Unlike most places in the U.S., those of us on the North Coast had to weigh our observational options.

Yes, it was clear Saturday, and Friday, too. Heck, we've had about a week of really nice, summery weather. But if something special is going on, well, expect the clouds.

So Humboldt was in fine form yesterday, and for most of Sunday it was again mostly clear skies and summery...until around 5pm.

Why, Humboldt County, why?

So we mulled over our options. Too late to drive over the mountains to Redding—and besides, who wants to go to Redding, anyway? Go to the Old Creamery Building and hope the skies clear? Drive up to Berry Summit?

Since it was clouds-clouds and not fog-clouds harshing our mellow, we figured it didn't matter how far up 299 we drove, the clouds would still be on the horizon. Short of Redding, anyway. So we went to Blue Lake and parked by the river. We were rewarded with mostly-clear skies.

My step-daughter made eclipse-viewing boxes and we hung out, playing with them and letting curious passers-by check 'em out. As the crescent sun in our little boxes got thinner and thinner, the skies started to darken. Then the eclipse-viewing boxes started to not work. WTF? Did we break them in our horsing around?

We looked up at the sky. So, was it getting darker because of the eclipse, or because of the big-ass cloud blocking out the sun? Humboldt, why do you do this to us? Look at what we're missing!

By the time the obscuring cloud rolled past and we again got an image in our little oatmeal boxes, the sun was back to the same crescent it had been when we first got to the river. We hung around a little while longer, until the fog started coming in, then we drove home.

Yes, that's right: when it's summery to us, a lightweight sweatshirt or jacket will do.

Why, what do you wear in the summer?

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