As I drove up the winding road to Pacheco, I idly mused upon the subtle beauty of Doonsbury 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 25 telescopes set up.
I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 95. It looked a bit like a nebula. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I tried IC 2664. It looked exactly like 60 grit carborundum on asphalt. With that checked off my list, I accidentally located IC 2604 in that confusing part of Virgo. It was as bright as diamonds on light grey velvet. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I nudged my telescope to Abell 21. It was as bright as the face of God.
After a short break to warm up in the car, I sketched NGC 20. It shimmered, as if it were blackness. Next, I helped a beginner find Abell 25. It sparkled like dancing elephants. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried for M 77 in the western sky. It looked uncannily like an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. After that, I jumped to IC 635. It was better than the clouds I'd seen earlier. With that checked off my list, I sketched IC 466. It was like the eye of God. Then, for a real challenge, I hunted Abell 77 in Gemini. It shimmered, as if it were Alan Rickman. After that, I studied IC 1291. It compared favorably with diamonds on black velvet. With that checked off my list, I observed B 389. It appeared to be Santa Claus. After that, I looked for and suspected IC 3273. It was easy, just like an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I logged B 582 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It was not quite as bright as black pearls on flocked paper. Then, I located B 316. It was a dead ringer for a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). Then, I slewed to IC 2070 in Cygnus. It was as bright as black pearls on flocked paper. Then, for a real challenge, I observed Abell 12 in Virgo. It reminded me of desert sand. With that checked off my list, I tracked down IC 2373. It seemed most like fleecy wool. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I star-hopped to IC 3896 in Ursa Minor. It was a dead ringer for dancing elephants. After that, I found NGC 6207. It appeared at low power like a spider. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I glimpsed NGC 985 in Cygnus. It reminded me of spent coals, faintly glowing. Next, I went for Abell 34. It seemed almost Alan Rickman.
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 State of the Union address.