It was a great and wondrous sight and a very rare thing to have enough of the sun's light attenuated by the atmosphere at sunset that you could see the 60% coverage by the moon with a fleeting and quick glance.
It made me wonder how are paleo-ancestors might have felt if they saw part of the sun being "swallowed up" by some unseen celestial monster or demon. Would they feel cursed? Would there be much fear? Or would they see it as a sign of good fortune and know that it was the moon and the sun dancing together in some kind of celestial romance?
Whether a good or bad sign, I took it for what it was, a great chance to get out and see how celestial mechanics works first hand. Although, I did call my girlfriend to share the moment and felt a little romance.
As for the scientist in me, I set to work setting up my Canon SD800 with the "hacked" firmware CHDK and a working script to capture some time-lapse photos. I also used the newer firmware options to set my shutter speed up to 1/1600 of a sec so as to get only the solar disk, with none of the flair. Focus was a bit of a problem, even as I had it set for infinite and total digital zoom.
In the end, I was able to capture the last 10 minutes of the sunset and then later compress it to about 10 seconds of video. So here is that short clip and I hope that you too had a chance to get out and see this event. Enjoy.
So the next time you are out doing some bushcraft, and you experience some great natural phenomena, let your imagination travel back in time and try to feel what your paleo-ancestors felt when such a thing happened. Find their mindset, and enjoy the learning and the emotion that was theirs to live. It will help you to find again that great kinship with the landscape that is bushcraft. Until next time, Happy Exploring.