Thoughts on various phenomena and aspects of the event....
Overall event - I've searched Youtube in vain for anything that came close to what I witnessed. Yes, there are plenty of videos of the eclipse, including a few from the same town (Eddyville) where I observed. But yet, everything pales in comparison.
Totality - It's not what you expect when it arrives. I'm sure this will be the case the next time I witness totality. The extremes and changes in lighting just cannot be captured by photography of any kind.
Diamond ring - I missed it both times. I won't miss it in 2024....
The 'glow' - As I had just missed the first diamond ring by a split second, I instead saw the eclipsed sun basking in a vast, warm golden glow. It was striking and unexpected. I don't recall anyone describing this phenomenon before. It makes me think of the fading afterglow of a thermonuclear blast. I figure this was glare from the extreme inner corona and chromosphere.
Corona - Awesome. The inner part was brilliant, the outer extensions had an otherworldly pearl-like luster with a greenish yellow hue. I saw the three main extensions out to about a solar-diameter distance, and some tendrils on the north side with 7x50s.
Chromosphere - I never saw it clearly. At most, I detected as a reddening (pinkish orange) of the inner corona as totality was ending.
Prominences - Even with binoculars, I had some trouble separating the big prominence from the inner corona. I didn't see any with the naked eye. I wonder if one of the scattered cirrus clouds had an effect on visibility.
Stars and planets - I saw only Venus. I didn't want to take the extra time to scan for anything that wasn't readily visible from where I stood.
The moon's shadow - This is a celebrated -- yet still underrated -- phenomenon and one of the most awesome aspects of totality (just short of the eclipsed sun itself). This is probably a big reason why experienced eclipse observers say "you just have to be there." It is almost frightening how fast it gets dark as the shadow sweeps over you. And it was surreal to see it sweep the remaining twilight to the east just after it passed over the eclipsed sun.
360-degree twilight - I captured this on video. Still, it was so bizarre to see this, it almost didn't register at the time.
Shadow bands - I did not detect them, but I did see a shimmering in the sunlight on the just before it was extinguished.
Wildlife - I did hear cicadas at the time, but sometimes they'll decide to start up at any time. A bird started its evening song just before totality. After totality, I saw three bats flutter overhead.
People - I heard exclamations of excitement just as totality approached and some commenting afterward. Otherwise, all sounds seemed to melt away during totality.
Crowds - Almost completely overblown. I figure there were real concerns in places like Oregon or Wyoming, where there are very limited access and facilities to cater to all the folks streaming in from places like California and Colorado, among others. These concerns were then 'transferred' to states that vast networks of roads to allow people to spread out (Nebraska and eastward). At least we know this going into 2024.
The weather - The clouds that were once threatening actually ended up enhancing the experience. The cumulus towers and scattered cirrus along the horizon provided a sense of scale to the event as the shadow approached.
Edited by Exeligmos, 15 September 2017 - 12:28 PM.