Students looked up at the sky in awe as the moon began to move over the sun. Locusts and crickets started chirping and buzzing, bird calls became non-existent and then darkness. The eclipse had reached partial totality.
Freshman Brayden Thompson said he felt as if watching this natural phenomena was a once-in-a-lifetime, very memorable and amazing event.
“We see two things every day and every night,” Thompson said. “The sun and the moon; to see them going over each other is very unique and it’s something that we don’t really think about too often.”
Thompson said this event was special to him because of his interest in celestial information.
“I look up at the sky each night and wonder about other planets and why the moon and the sun are there,” Thompson said.
Thompson said witnessing the eclipse was time well spent.
“It was amazing to see it,” Thompson said.
Some students witnessed the solar eclipse while attending school, other students ventured out to paths of totality.
Senior Wes Steiner travelled two-and-a-half hours to a Boy Scout camp in Lincoln, Neb. to be in the path of totality.
“My brother, dad and I were all Boy Scouts, so we decided it would be the best place to watch the eclipse,” Steiner said. “We went up to Inspiration Point, which had a view of 30 miles.”
Steiner said he enjoyed the dynamics of the eclipse.
“When the eclipse was right on top of us, we could look around and see the edges of the shadow,” Steiner said. “There was this huge circle of darkness; not complete darkness all around.”
During this event Steiner, said the animals started to act strange.
“The insects and animals were confused,” he said. “Birds stopped chirping, the cows in the distance were lying down. Everything shifted from daytime activities to nighttime activities. When it got light again, they got more even more confused.”
Steiner said the event was stunning.
“It was probably the single most beautiful celestial event I have ever seen and will ever have the pleasure to see,” Steiner said.
While Steiner got the serene country view, junior Stephanie Ross travelled to Saint Joseph, Mo. for a city view.
“When it went completely dark, everyone went crazy,” Ross said. “Fireworks started to go off and everyone was yelling.”
Like in Paola, Ross said she viewed clouds during the eclipse, yet Ross said she was still awestruck by the eclipse.
“I just felt like I was flying. My heart was racing and the darkness just blew me away,” Ross said.
Ross said she enjoyed witnessing this natural phenomena.
“It was quite an experience,” she said.
Biology teacher Karl Schmidt drove to Atchison to view the eclipse from a friend’s pasture.
Schmidt said the sky was cloudy as the eclipse was occurring, but he enjoyed viewing the eclipse before totality, when the moon was moving over the sun.
“All the solar eclipses occur quite often, but the sun being totally eclipsed doesn’t happen very often,” Schmidt said. “It’s a very unique event; very rare.”
Schmidt said the reaction from the animals and the insects interested him.
“The crickets got quiet, and the whip-poor-wills down in the creek bottom started going crazy,” Schmidt said. “They thought night was coming.”
Schmidt said thoughts of his ancient ancestors crossed his mind.
“I was wondering what people from the 1400s and the 1500s were thinking,” he said. “They were out there in the field hunting or planting and then all of the sudden everything went dark. It must have given them a scare.”