One moment we were watching a bat flitter across the sky while nocturnal insects sang in the background.
Though the woods beside the glade in which we sat were darkened save for scattered rays of weirdly tinted sunlight; all was still visible as we finished our picnic lunch.
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.