These late eclipses . . .

IMG_2600 So much has happened throughout the world, so many lives have changed irrevocably, in the week since this strange picture was taken on a quiet, sunny morning in the north east, despite the rain and cloud covering so much of the rest of the country. Uncle Jonny told us about what happened during the total solar eclipse of 1999, when there was darkness mid-morning across the south of England, dusk came early and the birds were silenced by the wonders of the cosmos. But this time, though we waited patiently for a wonder – my first eclipse experience – it turned out to be only partial indeed: so fleeting an alteration to normality that we were pressed to countenance it. At the moment of maximum effect for us, the Rolling Stones were beginning ‘Gimme Shelter’ on Radio 4, which always creates a tingly mood, and as the sun moved up further in its daily arc, this strange image was captured on the camera. There was a gentle quietening about the bird feeder, and a feeling of the afternoon among us, but all too soon the blazing light resumed and went upon its way.  Here below, we picked up our routines – resuming my sleep at Kemo Sabe’s feet, tiny Nico on Uncle NuNu’s tummy, Jeoffry hugging Barnaby’s side.  ‘Oh, a storm is threatening my very life today’.

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