Perth-Part 2-the Star Party Advenutre
Mike has been waiting years to go back here..Starfest 2016 we finally made it. It was a good 6 hours drive from Perth following HW7 and the the 401 past Toronto and North, through beautiful farm country to the River Place RV Park near Ayton and Mt. Forest where the North York Astronomical Association organizes and hosts it each year, a gathering of astronomy geeks, some freaks and superstars (Attilla, we had no idea you were so famous;)..just kidding) and the rest of us hangers on.
What a wonderful way to start August. Mike had the new StarStucture 18 out and got most of the bugs worked out with the OAFS ( Ottawa Astronomy Friends) help and the solar scope as well. It was clear and cloudless, a record for this particular star party and they took advantage each night with long lines at some scopes, well the giant ones anyway;)
The days were spent recuperating in the shade, it was toasty, or wandering the countryside and RV park which sat high above a small creek which seemed to be mostly full of, well, garden gnomes..sort of;) seasonal people there on the weekends and quiet the rest of the week. There were paths to wander and explore and the small town of Mount Forest was quite interesting.
The area is home to a large Amish population. Seeing them in the NO-FRILLS grocery store with their beautiful braids and smocks was a treat. They don’t like to be photographed but I could not resist a few horse and buggy shots.
The area was mostly farmlands, wandering down the small road that went to the RV park were ditches full of wildflowers and fields of corn.
Below the Riverside RV park was a small creek that led to a marshy area full of birds and all those wonderful things water attracts, especially mosquitoes, I walked in slowly, ran out quickly!
We did come here for the astronomy though right? Well yes and no, the skies are quite light polluted and it tends to be almost more of a social gathering than a serious viewing experience but there were many good moments and the big dobs were pointed all over the place after the moon went down. Fun to sit and watch and listen to the oohs and ahhhs coming from the eyepieces and kudos to Ingrid for being one of the best ambassadors there and so good at telling everyone wandering by just what she had in her eyepiece.
Mike had some good moments of solar viewing as well. I got to sit in my chair and drink wine and watch the goings on..so much fun to spend it with the OAFS, Attilla, Ingrid, Bob, Richard and Eric, thank you Richard for lending me your sky tracker and for processing my first deep sky image Eric, you rock, your images and time lapse are out of this world…literally;)
It was a new experience shooting deep sky, I think Mike is hoping I’m hooked;)
Wonderful experience, hope we will be back next year all depends on where we go for the total eclipse next summer. Mike has the path mapped out but nothing set in stone yet!
Stay tuned for Perth Part 3…coming soon:) Saludos amigos!