One moment we were watching a bat flitter across the sky while nocturnal insects sang in the background.
Then — complete darkness. A bit of warning as we felt the air cool a few degrees in anticipation. We watched a corona appear overhead; a celestial occurrence billed as a once-in-a-lifetime event.
As it was created and then moments later was diffused, we sat somewhat in awe.
We left the conservation area where we had spent a few almost magical hours and traveled to the small Ozark town of Caledonia, itself not far from the line of totality.
At 1:18 p.m., the dusk-to-dawn lights had illuminated the streets and sidewalks of the quaint little village. At 1:19, the sun had regained its supremacy over the mid-afternoon August sky.