Picnic in the dark

August 22, 2017


Before I show you my eclipse picnic, I want to say: Shame on the schools and teachers who didn’t allow their children to go outdoors to experience this beautiful phenomenon of nature. What a great science experience, that even prisoners got to enjoy, but many students here had to sit inside and watch it on TV. So very wrong for many reasons! Congratulations to the parents I saw down at the pier who had taken their children out of school for the day. Experience is the best educator. Teach-on, parents! Living life is the best textbook you’ll ever have. – whew! had to get that out of the way. Now . . . 


“Dad and I are going to have a picnic for the eclipse down by the pier. Don’t you want to come along?” “No!” “I don’t want to have a little picnic with my mommy and daddy! I’m going to be taking pictures down on the beach by myself.” (remember, he’s homeschooled, and we really haven’t started classes just yet, so Joseph is still “free range” for now. On top of that, his friends started back to school yesterday, so he was without his gang).


So, I set up the picnic without our little Joseph.  A little boy, who reminded me of the Kindergarten version of Joseph ran around with a box on his head and talked to me about the eclipse.



Then, the little guy shared his special glasses with me. About that time, Joseph texted me. “Mom! come down here on the beach with me! It’s awesome! Bring the food!” Uhh-hummmm. Who is the clever mom now?



So, we told Bob where we’d be and he joined us. Just about the time it was getting dark, I wished we could find someone to take our photo, when I looked up, and there came our good friend and professional photographer, Kelly Bullington, who snapped this cute photo of us. Wishing on an eclipse is better than wishing on a star!  Click on Kelly’s name to see her beautiful work.


Joseph got some pretty good photos . . . before his battery died. Poor guy. He’ll have to make sure it’s charged before the next eclipse. 80.7% darkness here in Fairhope. Much like a very cloudy day. Afterwards, everyone was the jokster saying, “I can’t see you, it’s so dark!” “Is that you?” hahaha. We’re all so jolly on days we have an excuse to stop work!


Here’s a time lapse video Joseph made before the battery fizzled. Not the eclipse, but a beautiful, dramatic summer sky. It’s just some numbers and letters, but if you click it, it will work. I’ll try later to get something prettier up. I know how you all love ‘pretty!”

Hope you all had a fun experience with the eclipse!


Leave a Reply

  1. Yes Leslie Anne, you are so right, all children should have been allowed outside with proper eclipse glasses. My kids were, my son was off work to join Connor and my DIL who volunteers at school so it was a family affair at school. Cute idea to picnic for the eclipse. How funny, food will always bring the boys around, smart girl! Great pic of your family minus one, your Joseph is a very hansome lad. We had a little more dark that you, other than the darkening sky I noticed what I found out is know as “eclipse shodows” in our trees. Who knew. A very fun expierence for most……..

    1. Eclipse shadow! Very neat! I forgot to mention that the mullet were jumping more than I’ve seen earlier in the day. I’ve always thought they were more active in the afternoons, so maybe they were a bit confused!

  2. Great photo of y’all.
    All students should have had some glasses and outside watching it. A different time and place maybe that would have happened. My husband is still in the school system. Not the overall decision maker, but the one who gets all the phone calls. Yuk! You know there are a few crazy parents out there who ruin it for all. You would not believe some of the calls he gets. That is the reason all kids were stuck inside. It is insane. I think the average normal human beings all need to ban together and revolt against the crazies. The world has gone insane.
    Enough of my rant, but you are so right. All students should have been able to view it through glasses outside!

    1. Some schools had the parents sign permission slips. One school here said there would be no uniforms (public schools wear uniforms) and instead, everyone could dress in black like the black-out eclipse. So cool. Your poor husband! I feel for him.

  3. Love Joseph’s video! That last frame looks like a painting. It got a little darkish here, but I have seen far darker in the average summer thunderstorm, although the light had a very surreal quality. Ray was putting together something in the garage, announcing he couldn’t be bothered… but I watched on TV since I had no glasses. Nice photo of the three of you, too.

  4. So proud of the School of Math and Science in Mobile that used the eclipse as a learning experience. Saw Fairhope Middle School on Channel 5 TV, and I think at least some other Baldwin County schools participated. My daughter in Idaho sent me glasses so I could enjoy the eclipse, which I did until it was covered by clouds.

    1. Good for those schools! I knew it was up to the individual school, and I wish they all had prepared and planned to participate. Glad you got to use the glasses for a while!

  5. Great photo of y’all! Our DIL teaches high school and the students were told it was an excused absence. As you can guess, very few came to class! Joseph’s video was cool!

    1. Thanks Pam. I think excusing the absence was a great idea, then the parents were responsible. I question our parents today who are raising children who can’t follow instructions to the point of preventing the entire school from having a great adventure! “Don’t look at the sun,Johnn!!!” (sizzle).

  6. I will admit that I thought at 80% we would see more darkness than we did…as a matter of fact I decided it would be cool to swim my laps during the peak time, sort of like night swimming! So I waited until about 15 minutes before it was supposed to be the darkest, and even though some clouds had arrived, I didn’t notice much difference in the lighting, but I decided to head to the pool. I didn’t even put sunscreen on thinking I would be swimming in twilight ? Now I admit I didn’t have any glasses, but the sun was behind a big cloud anyway, and I was so disappointed! My son said in Birmingham 280 was empty which is a phenomenon, but he didn’t really tell much difference either…I did enjoy Joseph’s video and all the media pics, so I guess it was really cool! Anyway a great excuse to have a picnic on the beach with your family and moon pies!

  7. Moon pies…..so clever! I haven’t had a moon pie in many years!

    It was exciting to see a crescent through our glasses and then a smaller one. We were in north Alabama in a state park exploring the water falls and celebrating our anniversary. It became like twilight and cloudy so we were afraid we would not be able to see it. Of course, I was back and forth from outside to inside viewing all the hoopla around the country on t.v.,too.

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