In 1979, I was privileged to view a partial eclipse of the sun in Kilgore, Texas. I constructed a pinhole camera from a shoe box and shared it with co-workers. We had lots of fun, but I never once thought about the animals outside.
Today, the USA experienced a coast-to-coast solar eclipse. My sister, Katrina, and I created separate pinhole cameras to view the heavenly spectacle. She used a large cereal box, while I opted for a small box a coffee mug I had ordered came in a while back. We went outside and sat with our backs to the sun and waited. Both cameras showed us a reflection of the sun, but mine was flawed. I thought it was because I had left my reading glasses in my bedroom. After a while, Katrina had me look through her camera. So much clearer! Lesson learned - when constructing my pinhole camera for the 2024 eclipse, I'll use a larger box. :)
We stayed outside for about an hour. During that time, we noticed the dimming of the sky, a lowering of the temperature, a unique quietness, and the lack of the ever-present squirrels. We weren't in the path of totality, but we did experience about 75% of an eclipse.
I had not thought about animals staring at the sun and receiving damage to their eyes. The news, Facebook, and the internet all spewed warnings about keeping our pets indoors during the eclipse. We did. Tool, the husky, is an indoor pet but goes out to take care of his business several times a day. Katrina took him out before the eclipse started and again after it ended. Only one of the cats, Gray, goes out on occasion, but we kept her inside. Later I saw a Facebook post where two people were mounted on horses and observing the eclipse. They wore protective eye wear and had covered their horses' eyes with padded bras, which looked humorous. I laughed.
I got to thinking about the situation. In all the eons since God created the universe, the animals, and humans, why are we just now worrying about the animals?
Animal rights activists would say it's because we're finally seeing the need for protecting our pets' eyesight, thinking of them first instead of being centered on ourselves. They're wrong.
Think about it. Why aren't all the billions of wild animals, who have no one to provide them all with a safe shelter, blind?
God created them and gave them instincts to protect themselves. Why did the birds stop singing? Why did the squirrels disappear from our yard? When an eclipse happens, the light grows dim or goes completely dark, depending on the amount of eclipse in a particular area. Animals go to sleep when twilight and then night falls. God planned it that way. And He gave the animals the instincts they need to protest themselves. If humans will stay out of the way, the animals will be fine.
One last comment - I love all animals. If I could lay hands on those cruel people who torture animals, well they might just receive a taste of their own medicine.
Author, editor, quilter.
New Kindle Release
December 21, 2017
The Bridesmaid Got Waylaid
Can be purchased as a single title or in a collection,
Trying Out For Love
with 5 other novellas from Amazon.com
Murder In Maggie Valley
Book 1 of the KEPS Kozy Mystery Series from White Bird Publishing