The Great American Eclipse of 2017

Unless you somehow have been living in a van down by the river the past few months, you're aware a total eclipse of the sun took place today, Monday, August 21st, 2017, across the United States. Living at an area where totality would achieved, I chose to experience the total eclipse right here at home.

The area of totality stretched roughly from Oregon southeast through South Carolina. This map produced by NASA shows the path through the United States:
This map, also produced by NASA, shows the path in more detail as the eclipse raced through South Carolina:
For this twice in a lifetime event (an annular eclipse occurred here in 1984), I definitely wanted to take photos, but I also didn't go to great expense given how thoroughly this event was likely to be covered  by everyone in the area.

I had tried to score some free eclipse glasses around town, but I always struck out. I decided to order some eclipse glasses off eBay.
I tested my eclipse glasses to make sure they worked. …

Waterfall Wednesday on Bear Creek Lake

ipt> It's a rare summer day when the temperatures are mild and the humidity is low, but that was the case Wednesday of this week, just one week past the summer solstice. I've been interested in a trip out to Bear Creek Lake to explore some of the local waterfalls for some time, and the nice weather and my availability coincided at just the right time to make this trip possible.

Bear Creek Lake is the largest (and the second constructed) of four reservoirs known as the East Fork Lakes in Jackson County, North Carolina located near highway NC 181, the other three are Cedar Cliff Lake, Wolf Creek Lake, and Tanasee Creek Lake. Cedar Cliff Lake is upstream from Bear Creek Lake, and both are along the Tuckasegee River. Wolf Creek Lake and Tanasee Creek Lake both feed creeks that empty into the Tuckasegee River. All four reservoirs were built in the East Fork area of the Tuckasegee River in the early 1950s by Nantahala Power Company, then a subsidiary of Alcoa, to produce electri…