Solar Eclipse brings crowd to Homestead

 

By Jolene Perron
Essex County residents were able to see the solar eclipse at 80 per cent totality last week, and the natural phenomenon sparked the idea for a special event at John R. Park Homestead.

“We’re having almost like a viewing party,” explained curator and educational coordinator for ERCA, Kris Ives. “People in attendance have pre-registered and with their admission they’re getting a pair of eclipse viewing glasses that are safe for looking at the sun for short intervals.”

The event allowed for people of all ages to explore the concept of shadow and light with shadow puppet theatres, make a sundial station and eclipse selfie stations. The homestead also had a pin-hole projector on site, which is the old-fashioned way to check out an eclipse.

Carter Blackmore, 10, and Owen Blackmore, 12, sat on the rocks at John R. Park Homestead last week to catch a glimpse of the eclipse with their special glasses.

Carter Blackmore, 10, and Owen Blackmore, 12, sat on the rocks at John R. Park Homestead last week to catch a glimpse of the eclipse with their special glasses.

“I think it’s really exciting,” said Ives. “Eclipses don’t happen very often where we can view them from our region. There is a path of complete totality, which is not where we live, we live in a path of about 80 per cent totality, which is wonderful.”

Ives explained the temperature dropped, it looked hazy outside, the light diminished, and some animals, especially where there is greater totality, go into their nocturnal patterns and behavior. Birds will go back to the trees or the roosts, animals will bed down, and then the sun comes out from the moon, everything warms up again and the animals return back to their usual daytime behavior.

“I wanted to see the eclipse, it’s a pretty cool event, I remember watching it on TV in ’79 when I was young,” explained event attendee Beth Bawtenheimer. “I thought it would be a nice day to come and see it. I really like the homestead, and I was looking for a place to go. Everyone around has said it’s been quite lovely, it wasn’t too crowded, I was a little bit worried it was going to be, but it was really nice sitting by the water and it was a really cool day.”

Mike Masse watches the eclipse at John R. Park Homestead with children Joshua, Matthew and Julia.

Mike Masse watches the eclipse at John R. Park Homestead with children Joshua, Matthew and Julia.

John R. Park Homestead, as Ives explains, is a pace where they try to blend human and natural history. Since people have lived with eclipses for as long as their have been people, so they presume, they wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate it and educate people.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience this natural phenomenon that doesn’t happen very often,” said Ives. “It’s nice for us to look at how they did it along time ago, and how we can do it safely today.”

For more information on upcoming events at John R. Park Homestead, you can visit their website at http://erca.org/jrph/

Comments are closed.