A super eclipse and hollandaise sauce

On Sunday, January 20, a super blood wolf moon eclipse graced the skies over North America and much of the rest of the world as well. The “super” refers to a full moon when it’s closest to the Earth in it’s slightly elliptical orbit. “Blood” specifies the red color that the moon turns during an eclipse. “Wolf” is a Native American term for the first full moon of the year. While it’s not an uncommon occurrence, I have photos of one that occurred in about a year ago, it doesn’t happen everyday.

I was looking forward to photographing this year’s event. The Stockton Astronomical Society had planned a viewing party at the Oak Grove Regional park in Stockton and I figured I could shoot it from there. I could get some relatively close shots and perhaps get some pictures with people in it too.

The very first phases of eclipse was to begin about 7:30 p.m. with the moon slipping totally into the earth’s shadow at about 8:40 p.m. and then ending at about 11:30 p.m. The only thing that could put a damper on the whole thing was the weather.

The forecast for that Sunday was rain and clouds which did not bode well for the viewing. As the forecast predicted, Sunday morning was greeted with grey, drizzly skies. Maybe it’ll clear up, I thought, and I kept my fingers crossed. Throughout the day I busied myself with errands and other tasks, occasionally checking the weather. 7:30 p.m. rolled around with the skies and visibility still poor. It’s then I gave up hope.

I realized that I was so wrapped up in hoping for the eclipse, that I forgot to make dinner for my wife, son and I. It took me a while but I started cooking. I figured on salmon with rice and broccoli with a hollandaise sauce, which I had never made before. I found a recipe online. Hollandaise is fairly simple with just a few ingredients but it takes a lot to attention with constant stirring over low heat.

I finally got dinner on the table at about 9:00 p.m. The hollandaise was a bit runny but tasted fine. We were all just a few bites into the meal when I happed to turn and lookout the window. I saw a star in the darkened sky.

I jumped up from the table and out the kitchen door into the backyard. A large hole in the clouds had opened up. It took a few seconds but I spotted the pale red orb that the moon had become.

I excitedly ran back into the house proclaiming the eclipsed had arrived. I thought about hopping into the car and driving to Oak Grove Park but I figured that it would take too long to get there. Also, there was no guarantee that the clouds would be clear there for the astronomical society would be there. I gathered up my camera and tripod and decided to shoot from the backyard.

I set up my equipment and started shooting. My son also wanted to shots of the moon and was a few steps behind me. I helped him set up his camera and tripod.

It was still cold and bit windy and I was wearing a t-shirt, jeans and slippers. I went back inside to put some warmer clothes on. When I got back out the clouds had moved back in and the moon was gone. I asked my son which way were the clouds moving. He indicated from the north to south. I scrambled through the house to the front, which was north, and looked up. I could see another clear patch traveling towards us. I made my way through the house to the backyard and once again the skies cleared. We were able to get more shots before the clouds covered up for good.

The whole thing lasted no more than a half-hour. We sat down to finish our dinner which was now cold but at least we got some shots of the eclipse and the hollandaise was no longer runny.

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