Today’s eclipse was totality cool.
Scenic Bartlett Ranch NE of Torrington, Wyo had it all: (Fotos below)
~ Temperatures fell 7 degrees.
~ This spring’s calves & their cow-moms quietly got up as totality approached, started grazing (very different than their normal previous hour of resting during the heat of the day) , and then they started quietly grooming themselves during totality.
~ Spectral (radiant) temperatures (the warmth of the sun on our skin) fell dramatically , while air temperatures did not drop quickly. This likely explains why the black Angus clearly would feel far more comfortable without any sunshine heating their coats => They felt much cooler when the sun was blocked about 75% – 100% & started moving around.
~ Previously-frenetic ants stopped darting-out of their mound, and the few who straggled-back to the mound as totality started were slow & sluggish … as only a few poked out their noses from the mound entrance … waved their feelers … and ducked back down into the safety of their mound.
~ The meadow larks and lark buntings stopped their popping up & ceased flitting about, disappearing into the sage brush.
~ The grasshoppers stopped whirring … and in their place a chorus of hidden crickets started chirping loudly, especially during totality.
~ Our clear beautiful views across a 60 mile-wide valley shifted to grey then red around the horizon 70-80 miles away.
~ One diamond ring blazed out …
and quickly dimmed … leaving just a few stars …
Magical … or creepy grey dusk surrounded us ….
and then … everything … slowly … gradually
… returned to normal.
All of these wonders … just a 2 1/2 hr drive north of Ft. Collins.
… $17 of gasoline + our chips & apples budget.
Movies to come in future FB posts, as it’s naptime now.
Signing off from Colorful Colorado,
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
… I want to make a special shout-out to the best friend a guy could ask for … Bill Drennon.
Here follow 3 pretty terrible videos that give you a sense of the our Bartlett Ranch spot w/ beautiful buttes nearby, the 70 mile views across a grand valley, + plus … grasshoppers, cows/calves & ant reports before & during the eclipse… (I’ll also report our cowboy-on-the-road interview with the jovial Donny-Ray .. a good ol’ transplanted-n-took-root ‘Bama boy)
Celestial shots ??? … I figure the pro’s shot lots of better videos & stills of the eclipse… so GO CHECK OUT Yucatan Bill ‘s FB page for his very-cool celestial shots & videos.
Be sure to turn on the sound … to compensate for the terrible videos.
Not all Wyoming ranchers are gruff’n’grumbly… 30 minutes more north … We then entered & wandered around the 90,000 acre Bartlett Ranch, ranging from the West Headquarters … over to the East Headquarters …. trekking at least 20 miles east to west trying to find a way North… just about leaving the property when a fellow in a fine Stetson wheeled up.
We exchanged “Howdy’s” … and got to know Donnie-Ray … the transplanted ‘Bama-boy. Donnie explained how there was only one route across the Bartlett ranch (other than cattle-paths) … and that was back past the East Headquarters (a place I hesitated to travel past, because it was clearly a road right through someones house & machine shed complex…
Donnie-Ray sensed my uneasiness… and warmly offered:
“Shoot… Drive anywhere’s you want to on this ranch. … Just tellum ‘Donnie-Ray says you’ve got his permission…”
Gotta love country folk
Gruff’n’grumbly? … Not even that lasts, as we passed Doug on our return trip … He pulled over & stopped as we approached from 1/2 mile away …
Rolled down his window … shut off the motor & hollered … “Welcome back …” with a gentle wave. … We chatted … & then thanked him again for allowing out 8 mile trek across his ~land~ (approx 50,000 acres)
” …Travel safe …” and a lusty “… B’sure to close the gate …”
Adios to some really fine new friends…
(as California ranchers were charging $150 a head to sit on their property during the eclipse)
This is the last terrible video … which is a lesson in why not to use your wife’s phone for taking videos (the first time for me) … if you care about the quality of the final product.