Among the sensory experiences I will remember related to being in the path of totality, most of which have been written about beautifully by others—the sudden acceleration of darkness, a rush of wind from the temperature drop (which in our case caused thunder just as the corona made its appearance in the sky)—there’s one that stands out for me that hasn’t really been talked about so much.
At our moment of totality, a sea of insects rose up from beneath us in the mistaken belief night was falling. This was not a gradual thing, as usually happens at dusk. Swarms of tiny flying critters teemed upward all around us, pinging off our arms and legs along the way—a few less fortunate ones meeting their end and they tried to shelter inside my nostrils. These were, fortunately, not a biting kind of insect, as none of us came away with any welts.
So there you have it. The unspoken underbelly of eclipse chasing.