Eclipse Watching Without Eclipse Glasses


By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

Eclipse, eclipse, eclipse.That’s sure been a big story on the news. You’d think it’s a rare occurance or something. On our farm in Charlotte, NC, crescent shadows shone everwhere. With no fancy eclipse glasses, of course we couldn’t look up toward the sun and burn our retinas, so we looked down instead.

A scientist on the news advised looking through a colander or simply down at the leaves shadows. I’d heard that another safe trick to see the eclipse was through the holes of a Ritz cracker but since we were fresh out of Ritz, we used a colander and also tried using the hole in an old record album to check it out on our cement driveway. The leaves worked the best, reflecting sickle-shapes everywhere beneath them. When the kids were little sometimes we’d use chalk and outline shadows. I wish I’d thought to do shadow art today.  Here’s my whine for the day. “With the kids away from our empty nest,  I plum forgot to drag out the chalk.”

My husband had planned on using his dad’s old welding helmet but one of our sons asked to borrow it. What are you gonna do? He took the helmet to college. That’s why we were reduced to using a holey kitchen gadget and trees. Afterwards, he said the helmet didn’t work as well as some girl’s eclipse glasses he borrowed. Of course.

We never went completely dark even though we were in the “path” but it got dark enough for our horses to neigh. I must say, it’s more likely that they saw us outside and decided it must be early supper time so there’s that. The dogs wanted to sunbathe on the pavement but I made them come back into the shade. Sadie Hound scared me a little looking up when I called her out of the sun. Hopefully she didn’t look into the sun. She did not understand that at all since she always bakes in the sun.

Speaking of eye damage, I’m wondering how many people will fear they’ve done something wrong in taking their glasses off too soon or putting them on too late or sneaking a peak at the dangerous orb.  I’d love to know how many people will go see an eye doctor just to be sure all is fine. My eyes are starting feel a little irritated just thinking about it. I felt like a daredevil taking a selfie on my IPad with the sun photo-bombing my picture. ABC News said that was ok but I’m still not so sure. Maybe I’ll see the opthamologist next week. It’s about time for a check-up anyway.

I hear a picture is worth a thousand words and I’ll bet the internet is blowing up with a thousand eclipse pictures. Here are a few of ours. Now I’ll go check out everybody elses.


Crescents, crescents everywhere


Improvising with no eclipse glasses


Colander crescents


Crescents on the patio


Some crescent shadows look like rocks in snow


It’s dark out here. Where’s the chair and my hubby?


My selfie sun has a moon shadow beneath it.


35 thoughts on “Eclipse Watching Without Eclipse Glasses

  1. My glasses were “paid for” as blood money. The Red Cross surprised me at the donation site Sunday with a pair of eclipse glasses as a reward for sharing my Type O+! I had signed up to give it anyway, but I am so delighted with the reward. I watched the sun get nibbled on by the moon until it was only a tiny rim and then the moon gave it back in the other direction. Our neighbors across the street were not pleased with their box viewer so one pair worked fine for three adults:) Later a friend driving by stopped and got a peak just as it was growing back and she told a friend. So I took a short walk and he got a peak and the sun grew back more. It was a fun experience and one pair was adequate for five adults after all. If I’d know you were lacking, I bet seven could have shared one pair:)

    • Aw. Thanks so much. You’re too generous. I suppose we can get our fill living vicariously through all those who had access to glasses and the fabulous photos and videos that should be everywhere for the next few days. Your description is lovely. Thanks. Oh, I have type O also. We are in high demand.

  2. Loved the crescents in the pictures!

  3. Love seeing the crescents – and your humor in your story-telling was so engaging 🙂 I had fun watching with glasses a friend gave me yesterday – got lucky! Was so fun to watch.

  4. J > This is more interesting than the reports from the zone of total eclipse!

  5. Particularly like the colander crescents because they make such a regular pattern. Great improv!

  6. Oh, I like the leaf crescents!

  7. My daughter and grandkids had the best time at the local elementary school field where they handed out glasses and the kids had plenty of room to run around looking like space creatures(according to them.)

  8. That last picture I said had a mom shadow beneath it but I heard Saturn and Venus were very visible. Must be one of those. Sweet.

  9. Wow that’s really cool with the leaves, I’ve never heard of that. I downloaded an eclipse sunglasses app, yup there was one and it worked, you saw the pics. Anyhow we all had quite the fun with it. 😎

  10. Some viewing tips here I have never heard of!

  11. These are great! Thanks for sharing, Lisa. It was very cloudy here, and even though I did not look up, it barely even got dark. No cool eclipse shadows like you captured at all. Very cool!

  12. You did a great job without glasses.I love all of those little crescents in the pictures. What a fantastic experience it must have been for you 🙂

  13. Fantastic one
    Outstanding composition
    Visit mine

  14. The eclipse was quite a thing to be able to witness. I wish we had been within the totality but were able to see almost 75% of it which was pretty cool. Thats too funny about your horses, they probably did think it was suppertime lol. I got ahold of someone glasses which definitely let you see the eclipse clearly, so happy we got to witness this spectacular event😄

  15. What a creative approach and result. Loving it!

  16. Thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Leave a Reply