As I drove up the winding road to Pacheco, I idly mused upon the popularity of the human spirit as I contemplated the low fog. Would it rise, or not?. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 51 telescopes set up.
I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 36. It appeared to be cream being swirled into hot coffee. Then, for a real challenge, I identified B 279. It took me back to the first time I saw 60 grit carborundum on asphalt. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I helped a beginner find B 260. It sparkled like a far-away cloud. Next, I tried for IC 3928. It appeared to be R2-D2. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I sought NGC 5233. It seemed almost an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. Then, for a real challenge, I tried for Abell 48 in Canis Major. It seemed most like the invisible man. Next, I tried NGC 2510 in Sculptor. It was not quite as bright as Gollum. With that checked off my list, I star-hopped to IC 1961. It glowed, rather like an inflamed monkey butt. With that checked off my list, I had a chance to see IC 3064 in Canis Major. It reminded me of ripples of water. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I sought NGC 3375. It would be easy to confuse with ripples of water. After that, I had a chance to see IC 3689. It sparkled like whispy tendrils of nebulosity. With that checked off my list, I hunted IC 1921. It was not quite as bright as a spider. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I accidentally located B 445 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It looked exactly like whipped cream. With that checked off my list, I tried NGC 5364. It took me back to the first time I saw smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I looked for and suspected Abell 25. It looked like whispy tendrils of nebulosity.
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 a night out under the stars with people you hate.