The week started off with mystery and anticipation. Monday was THE DAY for the solar eclipse, an event that seemed to take on a life of its own, super-hyped as a “once in a lifetime” experience. We had lots of friends headed up north to witness this event. But the rest of us settled for the 85%+ shadowing that was to take place. That, for us anyway, seemed like an amazing event in its own right. And amazing it was, although it sure came and went as quickly as a moving shadow from a passing cloud.
We didn’t really know what to expect. Was it going to turn totally dark? Dark enough for car headlights? Dark enough that the layer hens would go onto their roosts, thinking that dusk was upon them? Would the layer hens not lay any eggs on this intermittently shortened day? What about the turkeys, would they start roosting too? And wild birds, what would happen to them? Would they head off to their nightly resting spots? Lots of questions, lots of anticipation.
And then, the moment arrived. The eclipse was noticeable about an hour ahead of its peak, when the light started changing. Subtle at first, but then the changing light picked up steam. We were fortunate that there was a break in the cloud cover here on Wrights Mesa, yielding beautiful blue skies. The light was difficult to describe. The sun was still shining yes, but it had a distinctively different “feel”. Definitely not as bright. The air temperature cooled significantly, adding to the surrealness of the moment. Perhaps the brightness could best be described as what one sees on a cloudless night in the middle of winter with a full moon overhead, reflecting a very well-defined but eery light off the snow.
We pricked a hole in some cardboard, as advised by the NASA website as a cheap alternative to the official eclipse glasses. And yes, the sun and shadow cast on a flat surface was impressive. You could actually see what the 85% shadowing looked like (imagine a small finger nail). Barclay also held out a colander on the sidewalk in front of the bakery (again, recommended by NASA), and the results were awe-inspiring. Here’s an image of that:
Tony meanwhile, was at the farm, and he thought about looking at the gauge on our solar panels, which tells one how many KwH are being generated at any given moment during the day. At the eclipse’s peak, the panels were only generating some 1240 KwH, down from what would be the norm for that time of day of around 9000-9500 KwH. And that was with a cloudless sky!
Hopefully you all had some memorable eclipse experiences as well.
On another front, our 65 acre irrigated grass pasture was hayed this week and put up for winter feed. The large round bails stood like giants out in the field, reminiscent of a Southwest Colorado Stonehenge.
So, what’s in your box this week? It’s another bounty! (Remember: turkeys that were pre-ordered are being delivered this Friday, Aug. 25, at the Telluride Farmers Market. We ask that you place them in the refrigerator for at least another day before freezing. Thank you!)
Chicken for all chicken shares, salad mix, kale, cilantro, basil, broccoli, beans, carrots, onion, cucumber, summer squash, frisee endive, tomatoes and Hungarian hot wax pepper.
Anne says, “The peppers are spicy but not unbearable and they seem to loose much of their heat when cooked. We have been eating our endive finely chopped with diced cucumber, tomato, roasted sunflower seeds and an oil and vinegar dressing. Enjoy the summers bounty!”
Remember, your veggies have not been washed. Please bring us your boxes, bags and egg cartons.
Have a great week!