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An Eclipse's Lacy Pattern Is Painted on My Page

During an eclipse, small openings in leafy canopies act as lenses, and plants' shadows are filled with multiple images of the event.

It is dark in here, and quite chilly - so strange, for a cloudless blue sky arches outside, and my wristwatch says it's only 10:30 a.m. Outside the window, a subdued light filters dimly through our vine trellis, but on the window itself appear hundreds of tiny, smudged smoke-like rings, and now I see they are reflected through the pane, and rest on my paper in the typewriter.

A projecting wall outside catches them also, and they make an enchanting pattern. If I were an artist, I would design a fabric featuring them, and call it "Solar Eclipse."

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At 10:15 they had rested in their dozens, lightly brushing the wall, perfect little circles, softening and blurring into groups. They blended and merged until there evolved a perfect image of a planter pot, with half a dozen tiny, soft smoke-rings bubbling from its ellipse. Now, as the clock ticks away the minutes, they are barely half-moons with the shapes constantly changing, until, soon, they will be round blobs of sunlight again, making familiar patterns.

One of the boys spent hours contriving a shoebox to see this eclipse, and we spent precious minutes experimenting with various types of magnifying glasses, photographic negatives, and other devices. Then the images appeared on the wall, the shadows through the vines, and there was not a more perfect view, nor a bigger collection of patterns than these. Certainly none could have been more charming.

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