What the heck is a Star Party? Come along and we’ll explore one. A new moon, a dark sky preserve, a five hour drive with our grandaughter, Olive and we are at the Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan where there is a huge sanctuary free from light pollution. Each year hundreds of star gazers, amateur astronomers and astrophotographers gather over a new moon weekend to share experiences, set up hundreds of telescopes, listen to lectures and pray for cloudless skies. With our tent set up, our bellies full of a delicious barbecue and our flashlights covered with a red filter our ‘wait for the dark begins’. Every light in the campground is covered with red filters to prevent white light from affecting the visual extravaganza. Olive spies the first star as the sun waves goodbye and slowly sinks beneath the horizon.
Olive and Cathy grab a blanket, spread it out on the ground and watch the show while lying on their backs.
This is my first attempt at astrophotography so I fumble in the dark trying various settings to capture this wonderous event.
Clouds begin to shut down the Star Party around 11:00 so we head to bed having witnessed a most amazing light show. We feel so lucky to have been immersed in this wonder when our world has successfully obliterated dark skies over much of our globe.
The stars shed gentle tears throughout the night to remind us we made the correct decision to head to bed. Our journey back to Saskatoon included a stop at the Great Sand Hills where we witnessed more of Saskatchewan’s unique geology.