15.5 C
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
It was a total eclipse of the heart for awestruck watchers
The scene at Queen’s Royal Park at the time of totality was something out of a rock concert. The crowd cheered and applauded and held their phones and cameras high over a backdrop of a Lake Ontario stage showing where the moon’s shadow ended and the sky silhouetted the awestruck crowd. Richard Wright
Seeing night turn to day in the middle of the afternoon was almost too much to handle for Josh and Chloe Diab of Mississauga. The siblings count the experience as one of the best they have ever had. Richard Wright
The Nelson family — Adam, Jocelyn, Kat, and Oliver — from Detroit were in NOTL to not only see the eclipse, but also so mom and dad could relive old memories of their honeymoon here in 2015, and create new ones for the whole family. Richard Wright
Pablo Leiton and his aunt Gidget Alonso came all the way to NOTL from Costa Rica to witness the eclipse. Richard Wright
Larry and Vickie Galuszka of Wisconsin were in NOTL to witness their third total eclipse of the sun. The pair say the experience never gets old. Richard Wright

NOTL experience captivates people from far and wide

 

With oohs and ahs, cheers and applause, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s total eclipse experience was one to remember for skywatchers — despite the low-hanging cloud cover.

“That was unreal,” beamed Mississauga’s Josh Diab at Queen’s Royal Park where he, his sister and few friends gathered with a large crowd to watch the eclipse.

“We will never see anything like that again. You just feel shivers come up your spine.”

While clouds over NOTL obscured the actual event, preventing people from seeing such spectacles as the ring of fire, the sun’s atmospheric corona and the diamond ring, people around town were still happy to be in the presence of a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The next time NOTL experiences a total eclipse will be in 2144.

  • Check back for updates and see The Lake Report on Thursday for full coverage, commentary, photos and video of Monday’s total eclipse.

“I just wish the clouds weren’t there,” remarked Chloe Diab when the lights came back on. “But I thought it was amazing,” she added. “Never in my life I thought I would see it.”

Throughout NOTL the hype around the eclipse seemed to live up to its promise.

While the hordes of visitors and crazy traffic that was predicted didn’t come to fruition, there were evident signs of increased activity and excitement.

From front-porch private viewing parties to bustling Queen Street patios — despite a chill in the air — to pagan dancing groups and plenty of far and away visitors, everyone was in full eclipse mode.

“It’s a unique experience,” noted Larry Galuszka while walking through Simcoe Park.

This was the Door County, Wisc., resident’s third eclipse encounter.

“We saw the one in 2017 in southern Illinois and before that I took a cruise in Baha, California, and saw one there.”

Galuszka and his wife Vickie had also hoped for better weather, but nonetheless will still count this as a memory to cherish.

“There are many things you can plan for, and one or two things you can’t, and those things are the weather and clouds. I think it is still worth it,” he said.

Adam and Kat Nelson and their young family from Detroit were caught grabbing a quick bite to eat on Queen Street before heading out to one of the many lakeside viewing points.

“It is something special to share with the kids,” said Adam. “It’s the whole idea of creating core memories. Hopefully this inspires (my children) either creatively or scientifically.”

His five-year-old son, Oliver, may have not taken in the science of it all on this day, but those core memories are definitely in place.

“I saw an eclipse and it was cool,” he said, when asked about what he was going to tell his friends back home.

For mom Kat seeing it in NOTL was a wonderful reminder of a time that is special to both her and her husband.

“We were here on our honeymoon nine years ago,” she said.

“So it was really special to see that this once-in-a-lifetime thing was happening here. It was a great excuse to take our new family out and relive the memories and also share some new memories with the kids.”

Of the things people were interested in experiencing throughout the eclipse, perhaps one of the more forgotten ones is the effect on animals. Many animals regulate their behaviour by the height and brightness of the sun.

Gidget Alonso came all the way to NOTL from Costa Rica with her nephew Pablo Leiton just for the eclipse.

With her expectations, there was no need to see the actual event in the sky. She was more interested in what was going to happen closer to Earth.

“I want to see the birds go to sleep when the darkness comes,” she said.

Leiton was a bit more existential in his ideas of what to expect.

“When you look up at the sky, an eclipse is one of the most attractive things. Everything is night so it is very unusual to witness,” he said.

“It makes an impact on my perception of things at that moment. It is something that happens and you know it happens but when you are living it, it is a different experience for sure.”

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