Totality over Blythewood

Andrew Fournier and Rayna Plowden promoting The Enclave Apartment Homes on Wilson Boulevard during Blythewood’s Eclipse the Park Monday.

Three fun evenings (movies, bands and vendor food) in the park culminated in a promised solar spectacle, the 2017 eclipse. It didn’t disappoint.

As the clock ticked through mid-morning on Monday, all eyes were on the weather. There were a few white fluffy clouds during the morning. Would they go away in time for the main event?  The forecast was iffy.

Totality in Blythewood would last anywhere from a little more than a minute to a little more than two minutes.

Jerry and Eileen Rega, left, visit with friends as they watch a Star Wars movie in Doko Park – ‘The Force Awakens’. -Photo by Barbara Ball

The town was relatively quiet. By mid-morning, traffic was picking up. By 11 a.m., a crowd was begnning to pour into Doko Park. Most Blythewood folks brought with them relatives and friends from faraway places who had come to take advantage of what potentially could be one of the better views in the state.

By 1 p.m., there was a collective sigh of relief. The puffy white clouds had dropped down along the horizon and it seemed the clear, blue sky would hold.

Richard Ghere of Pennsylvania brought his camera and solar filter to record history on Rimer Pond Road.

At 1:13 p.m., the eclipse began. Everyone slipped on their glasses and focused their cameras as the moon began to slowly, very slowly, slide across the sun.

Tiny half-moons appeared on the ground and sidewalks as the disappearing light filtered through tree leaves.

Then the sun began to disappear in earnest, bringing a noticeably cooler temperature as the world sank into darkness.

Then, totality. Crickets chirped and bats emerged. It was nighttime in the middle of the afternoon.

Blythewood residents Resa Cochran (pink hat) and husband Doug (far right) made the eclipse a family event for their grandchildren and other family and friends. – Photo by Kathleen Snider

Suddenly, the diamond appeared on the ring, bright and sparkly, as the moon began sliding off the sun, revealing a sliver of bright light that grew brighter with every second.

Totality was over.

By 4:06 p.m., it was, again, a bright, warm, sunny day in Blythewood.