As I drove up the winding road to Devastated Area, I idly mused upon the current implications of AP Refractors as I contemplated the approaching back of the front... would seeing and transparancy improve soon?. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 56 telescopes set up.
I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 10. It was a blurry likeness of a far-away cloud. Then, for a real challenge, I tried M 9. It appeared as Alan Rickman. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I nudged my telescope to NGC 5122 in Lyra. It seemed fainter than a spitting cobra.
After a short break to chat, I helped a beginner find M 29. It took me back to the first time I saw lumpy darkness. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I glimpsed Abell 42. It would be easy to confuse with cream being swirled into hot coffee. After that, I helped a beginner find Abell 69. It appeared at low power like smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. Then, I added to my logbook Abell 10 in Triangulum. It reminded me of an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. Then, I hunted for B 108. It reminded me of the eternal nothingness of being. With that checked off my list, I identified NGC 4886. It appeared as ripples of water. Then, I stumbled upon M 4. It seemed almost all the other smudges I've ever looked at. After that, I studied NGC 5032. It looked like a spitting cobra. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I showed some guests B 190. It looked exactly like a nebula. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I tracked down Abell 59. It somewhat resembled Demi Moore. With that checked off my list, I accidentally located NGC 3251. It reminded me of a UFO. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I found B 431. It looked like a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Next, I tried for M 62. It shimmered, as if it were a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). Then, for a real challenge, I observed Abell 73 in Antlia. It gave the appearance of dandruff on black satin pajamas.
Finally, it was time to pack up and leave. As I drove home, I contemplated the events of the night, and realized that any night out under the sky with good friends is better than looking at another first attempt to image the Lagoon Nebula.