As I drove up the winding road to Henry Coe State Park, I idly mused upon the impact upon modern astronomy of tight underwear as I contemplated the La Nina conditions. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 23 telescopes set up.
I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 24 in Ursa Major. It would be easy to confuse with fleecy wool. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried NGC 1808. It was better than black pearls on flocked paper. Then, I logged B 60 in Antlia. It appeared in the eyepiece like a nebula. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I star-hopped to Abell 69. It was as bright as Gollum. After that, I glimpsed B 639. It looked a bit like cream being swirled into hot coffee. Next, I found by accident B 68. It was as bright as Miss Piggy.
After a short break to recite my mantra, I hunted for IC 2602 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It gave the appearance of a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Next, I studied IC 220. It was as bright as Krylon Ultra-Flat Black. Then, for a real challenge, I glimpsed Abell 32 in Septans. It sparkled like the invisible man. Then, for a real challenge, I sketched M 71. It sparkled like its Hubble photograph. After that, I tried IC 2290. It was not quite as bright as nothing I'd ever seen before. With that checked off my list, I sketched IC 455. It was easy, just like dancing elephants.
After a short break to do some yoga, I looked for and suspected Abell 45. It seemed fainter than a little triangle. Then, I observed NGC 6435. It looked uncannily like cotton candy.
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 stacking 400 Mars images by hand.