Secondly, it happens in mid-August -- the weather is ideal for being outside! And this year, the evening could not have been more perfect!
We heard owls hooting on the hills, and learned to identify the constellations, and how to "map" from one to another. And we were treated to a LOT of shooting stars! Some were so big, so bright, they left a trail all the way across the sky!
Brendan set up his camera on the dock at Clover cottage, and captured this image of the Milky Way that night -- no meteors in this shot, but the Milky Way is so very beautiful.
AND we got to see the IESS go overhead. We get used to our Dark Skies, but we never forget how magical they are for many of our guests. 75% of the 'civilized' world never gets to see skies this dark, because there is simply too much light pollution in the developed areas and cities -- far too much 'up-lighting' in the malls, etc.
So for a great many of our guests, these stars are a first. We take our guests out every week, and teach them how to read the map overhead, moving from the Big Dipper to the North Star, to Casseopia, Andromeda, Perseus, the Summer Triangle, Sagitarius, Scorpio and more.
Last autumn, I was on the lawn with guests from Israel -- the grand-daughter, 9, stared at the sky with jaw dropped. "Are those REAL stars?" she asked, in awe. Her grandpa (85) was very quiet for a long time, and finally turned to me and said, " In all my life, I've never seen the Milky Way..."
We think Dark Skies are worth protecting. And we think people should have the chance to recognize the constellations, and gaze into the Milky Way.