As I drove up the winding road to Sierra Buttes, I idly mused upon the higher implications of the energy crisis as I contemplated the night's aurora display. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 34 telescopes set up.
I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 40. It appeared in the eyepiece like Santa Claus. With that checked off my list, I sketched IC 2130. It was easy, just like cream being swirled into hot coffee. After that, I found by accident IC 1043. It would be easy to confuse with the eternal nothingness of being.
After a short break to chat, I sought NGC 3433. It appeared at low power like nothing I'd ever seen before. With that checked off my list, I identified NGC 696 in Ursa Major. It looked like a spider. With that checked off my list, I tracked down B 274. It seemed almost a nebula. Next, I tried for B 252. It reminded me of a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Then, I found NGC 1481. It seemed almost desert sand. Then, I went for Abell 90 in Ophiuchus. It compared favorably with lumpy darkness. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I sketched Abell 8 in that confusing part of Virgo. It seemed most like a UFO. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I logged IC 3009. It would be easy to confuse with the invisible man.
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 cleaning the bathroom.