...that wasn't very impressive, was it? I'm on about yesterday's solar eclipse, of course. Serveral of my fellow bloggers have written about it, such as Neil here and Frances here. But unlike them, I felt somewhat disappointed.
As is the custom with nearly everything (just not the really important things, one can't help to notice every now and then) nowadays, quite a hype had been stirred up by "the media". Here in Germany, the big topic on the news was how our power stations and energy providers have been preparing for the day (for the few minutes, actually) months in advance. Anything from a total power loss to next to nothing could have happened, apparently. They said that a lot of power in this country is fed into the grid from solar panels, and if the sun disappears for a while (as it does every evening!) and then returns (as it does every morning!), the grid could be under- and overfed, and maybe not cope with the sudden up and down.
Well, looks like nothing of the kind happened. Am I cynical to believe that this was not so much due to excellent preparation and organization on the part of our energy providers, but really simply because it never went really dark or even dusky? The only perceptive difference in light I could tell was not much different from what happens on any windy day, when clouds pass in front of the sun. The birds were as unimpressed as I, they just kept singing, building their nests and doing all the other stuff birds do all day.
I did take some photos spaced within 10-15 minutes from each other (without looking through the camera - I just held it out of the window; I am not quite as daft as I look), but all they prove is what I have just said: nothing really happened.
My neigbhour was looking out of her window, too; the sunlight on the garden isn't any different than what it was in the hour before and after the eclipse.
How different was the eclipse of 1999! I remember it well. My colleagues and I went outside and looked and waited. It was surreal, somehow: Not only did it get really darkish (not pitch black dark, but much darker than what a big fat cloud could cause), it also felt decidedly chilly, and - that was the most surreal bit - the world seemed to be completely silent around us for a few minutes. No birds, no cars right there and then on our street, and we didn't speak.
I am sure elsewhere on the planet, this week's eclipse was spectacular to watch. It certainly wasn't so here. (Of course I am glad we didn't have any power outtage.)