I'm guessing, though, [Read: This is pure speculation.] my son did not inherit the astronomy gene from his 3rd great grandmother, Lavina (Richmond) Haley. On the 28th of May in 1900, there was a solar eclipse. And it was a pretty darn big deal. Astronomers had been trying to capture photographic evidence of a solar eclipse for a while with no luck. Clouds and plague seemed to have thwarted their efforts in the recent past, and they just weren't going to let the predicted solar eclipse for May 28th in 1900 to get past them without capturing it for posterity and science. The amount of time, effort, money, and equipment involved was impressive as we find out from the following snippet from an article found in the Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper in Iowa City, Iowa printed the day after the eclipse. 
The eclipse of the sun Monday, visible throughout North America, Europe, and Africa, but total in only some parts of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia in the United States, was an event of first importance, not only to astronomers, but the world at large. It was unprecedented in more than one respect. It's path of totality, instead of extending through sparsely settled regions or running over scant expanses of water, crossed six states in a populous portion of the country, all of the region being easily accessible by rail and water.
It has been 11 years since a similar event was witnessed, but the advancement of astronomical science and the marvelous improvements in telescopes, photographs, and electrical appliances insured more complete observations and millions of dollars were expended in this way. 
And Lavina in Colfax, Jasper County, Iowa, captures the moment and bookends it in her description of the local weather between the word, "clear" and the phrase, "rain in the evening."  Was she fascinated by it? Or what? We may never know for sure. Of course, she doesn't reveal her feelings on any of the things she decides are remarkable enough to record in her diary so perhaps she was fascinated by it. *shrugs*
Additionally, May in 1900 was remarkable for the Haley family and for Lavina in particular as she notes on the first day of the month she "...baked first time in gasoline oven."  This phrase tells us a whole lot about the Haley family. According to an article written by Gordon Bock on oldhouseonline.com, gas ovens generally started replacing wood ovens in the early 1900s. Though the technology had been around for a while, the fuel was expensive and gas service wasn't readily available everywhere.  And in April of 1900 the Haley family purchases their first gas-powered oven , and Lavina uses it for the first time on May 1st. This lends credence to my suspicions -- fueled by so many clues [Yes, I went there.] -- the Haley family was pretty well-off financially. Of course, her entry makes me wonder, "What did she bake in her new oven? How did she like how it worked?" *big sigh* Lavina taunts me with her diary entries.
Lavina also mentions that Mrs. Tripp's funeral was May 8, 1900.  Who was Mrs. Tripp? I'll need to dig in local Colfax and Jasper County newspapers in this time period to try to figure that out. Maybe. And maybe court records. And maybe probate records. And such. If I'm so inclined in the future. If not, then the Tripp descendants need to handle this. ;) But? Lavina knew the Tripp family enough to include a notation about Mrs. Tripp's funeral. That we do know.
Finally, Lavina mentions picking up clothing and textiles in Newton on the 10th of May and she, herself, sewing for the Bartons on the 17th of May.  I find this interesting because the previous month she mentions taking her dress to her cousin, Jessie Logsdon.  For what, we don't know. Was Jessie borrowing it from her or mending it for her or what? But I get the impression from reading her diary Lavina doesn't sew for others to make additional income. So why was she sewing for the Bartons? I dunno. Maybe she was just helping out a friend. And it's hard to tell which Barton household she is referring to because there are quite a few of them near the Haley household in Jasper County in 1900. But we do know Lavina knew a Barton.
So. Astronomical stuff happened in May of 1900 including the fact Lavina was cooking with gas now and giving us a few more details about the goings-on in the Haley household and their community, like the circus came to town on May 11th.  I find that tidbit fascinating. What did the circus look like in 1900? And which one came to town? Off to Google and to find some newspapers...
Colfax Iowa May 1900 morning temperature
1 clear baked first time in gasoline oven 48
2 clear 55
3 clear cool north west wind 30
4 clear 40
5 clear rain in night east wind 42
6 rain in evening hard. East wind 50
7 rainy day east wind 60
8 clear Mrs. Tripp’s funeral. 50
9 clear 48
10 clear went to Newton got Dan’s pants vest and 50
shirt, my table cloths and tomatoes plant and [? Page is torn
and last word is faded.]
Colfax May 11- 1900 morning temperature
11 clear circus at Colfax .25 cts ad/planted corn 58
12 clear south west wind 62
13 clear in fore noon - showers in evening 69
14 rain all afternoon and all night 60
15 rain in afternoon 60
16 cloudy sprinkled 50
17 rainy all day sewed for Bartons 50
18 cloudy rain part of time 48
19 clear 50
20 clear 56
21 clear planted late potatoes 60
22 clear 60
23 clear 60
24 clear 65
25 clear school went picnicking on the river 70
26 clear Ray went after Ed’s saddle 70
27 clear 70
28 clear total eclipse of sun, rain in evening 70
29 cloudy sprinkle rain got gasoline 4 gal. 70
30 clear rain in night 70
31 clear 70
Thomas Smillie, "Corona of the Sun during a Solar Eclipse 1900," 28 May 1900; database; Smithsonian Institution Archives ( http://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_arc_308088?back=%2Fcollections%2Fsearch%3Fquery%3Declipse%26online%3Dtrue%26page%3D1%26perpage%3D10%26sort%3Drelevancy%26view%3Dlist : accessed 24 Nov 2013), glass plate negative.
- "The Eclipse," Iowa City Press-Citizen, 29 May 1900, p. 2, cols. 3-4; digital images, Newspapers.com ( http://newspapers.com : 24 Nov 2013 ).
- Corona of the Sun during a Solar Eclipse 1900 ( http://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_arc_308088?back=%2Fcollections%2Fsearch%3Fquery%3Declipse%26online%3Dtrue%26page%3D1%26perpage%3D10%26sort%3Drelevancy%26view%3Dlist : accessed 24 Nov 2013).
- Lavina (Richmond) Haley, "Diary" (MS, Jasper County, Iowa, 1900-1905), pp. 7-8; privately held by R.L. Pointer, [Address for private use,] Spring, Texas, 2013. Mr. Pointer is the great-grandson of the diary's author.
- Gordon Bock, "History of the Kitchen Stove," Old House Online ( http://www.oldhouseonline.com/history-of-the-kitchen-stove/ : accessed 24 Nov 2013).
- Lavina (Richmond) Haley, "Diary" (MS, Jasper County, Iowa, 1900-1905), pp. 6-7; privately held by R.L. Pointer, [Address for private use,] Spring, Texas, 2013. Mr. Pointer is the great-grandson of the diary's author.