It was a cool breezy day on the Sacramento River Delta and everything seemed perfectly normal. Slowly a large shadow moved across the landscape and the normally bright California skies dimmed the moon passed between Earth and the Sun. California Gulls glided smoothly on the currents of air that turned the windmills across the river delta in Rio Vista. The May 20th Annular eclipse had begun but would only grow to a partial eclipse in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The original plan was to travel north with fellow photographers heading for the Sun Dial Bridge in Redding California but things didn't work out and I wound up staying in the Bay Area bit did get out to see the show from the shores of the Sacramento River in Antioch. My wife and I were just parking as the moon took its first nibble of the sun. People enjoying a restaurant at the marina stared into the sun using an assortment of devices to view the still very bright light. I noted one using some old technology called 35mm film.
Due to the proximity to the restaurant and the larger than normal crowd on the patio deck we were treated to a large number of California Gulls that frequently dine on leftovers, donations and a few stolen tidbits. Fortunately we were looking skyward for the vast majority of the time and were able to avoid any presents the gulls are famous for. We had a lot of fun watching them soar effortlessly across the sky as the eclipse sparkled in the sky above.
© Darvin Atkeson