The Great American Eclipse 2017

 ^^An Idaho boy in the path of totality (a composite).^^

I was surprised.  The eclipse Monday lived up to all the hype.  It was an incredible experience!  It exceeded all my expectations and made a lasting impression on my memory and even my soul.  Really!  I can't adequately explain it in words.  The whole experience was awe-inspiring.  The world became eerily dark, the temperature dropped, and some stars came out!  I am so glad we joined the other crazies in traveling across Idaho to be in the moon's complete shadow.  It was worth it.

We hopped in the truck Sunday afternoon headed to the Nelson Dairy where we joined three of Bron's brothers and families as well as his Uncle, Aunt, and cousins.  It was a party house!  And as usual, Momma Nelson hosted with plenty of food and love to go around.  I'm honestly not sure how she does it all!

Sunday evening, the cousins had a blast zooming down the zip line while more tours were given of the new robotic dairy barn for the adults.

^^Levi couldn't get enough of the zip line!^^
^^Quincy pretending to take some pictures through her "camera".^^
^^How Jed frequently loves on his baby brother these days.  He makes us all a bit nervous from time to time!^^
^^I should have gotten more pictures of Kaleb and Chantee's new puppy, Hazel.  She was sooo cute!^^

Monday morning found us all congregating out on the front lawn underneath the sun.  Of course we all had our special glasses in hand!  Grandma Nelson even helped the little kids keep theirs on by attaching rubber bands to the earpieces and wrapping it around their noggins.  We were a bunch of crazy sunbathers waiting for something to happen!

^^Welding goggles turn the sun green--Levi's favorite color!^^

As the world was cast under the moon, everything began to take on this weird orange glow and strange shadows.  I couldn't change my camera settings fast enough to keep up with the encroaching darkness!

^^The eclipse through the lens of one of our glasses!^^

Totality.  The minute when the sun was completely blocked by the moon.  We took off our glasses to look at the sun with our bare eyes.  What an eerie but spectacular moment!  It was an exhilarating feeling.

I hadn't planned on taking any pictures of the eclipse.  It would have required a special filter and a rented lens.  I wanted to live in the moment and just enjoy it instead.  There would be enough people taking pictures for me!  Haha.  But, of course, I couldn't help myself in the moment.  I think I documented exactly what we saw as we saw it.  And then had fun putting a composite together in Photoshop.

When totality ended, I think it took us all a while to come down from that natural high!  It's an experience I hope my boys remember for the rest of their lives.  So neat.


How many cousins can we fit in a tub? 

Meanwhile, all my energy was spent in efforts to keep this baby alive!

As the evening wore down, I snuck off on my own to take some pictures of the dairy farm in the sunset.  That place is so pretty.  For some reason I feel like I'm able to let go of the rules and my inhibitions about photography and just shoot from the heart.  I experimented in freelensing--shooting with my lens unattached to my camera!  It makes for some very imperfect pictures with light leaks and subjects out of focus.  But I love it.

And then I reattached my lens and the boys and I played in the backyard.

^^Life.  Everyday.  This picture makes me laugh!^^
^^Brothers. Capturing all three boys playing together in one frame makes my heart feel full.^^

We finally called it a night and hit the road towards home around 9PM.  We avoided I-15 like the plague (traffic!) and took the back roads through to American Falls before hopping on the freeway again.  Thankfully, we had no delays!  What an awesome day.

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