The buzz had warmed me all night.
Everywhere was the sound of people talking astronomy, sharing stories and enjoying themselves. Months of worry were finally melting, we had pulled it off. The first night had gone well, but this was even better.
The day had gone by in a blur, solar observation, relaxing in the sun talking, enjoying a beer. Then it was to the pub for talks and our quiz. The atmosphere went up a notch.
The BBC made their presence felt with interviews, the camera and mic roamed around seeking interesting stories to follow once the Sun went.
Then it happened. The Sun fell below the horizon…Vega….Deneb…Altair….Arcturus….the stars winked on above us, telescopes whirred, alignments were sweated over and the night began. People swapped advice, talked, shared, made friends. It was everything we hoped for and while I tried a few sketches my second nights enjoyment was fast becoming the simple pleasure of sitting back on my stall, taking in the Milky Way and just listening. I almost didn’t need my scope.
The moon was what I was waiting for though and eventually after midnight, after the Pleiades, after Jupiter came luna, her face partially painted in wanning light. I searched the terminator and found a crater to draw and then became absorbed. Me, my scope, my pencils and the moon. Heaven.
I looked up, hours gone by unchecked.
Around me empty tripods were scattered in the moon lit field. No chatter, no exclamations of meteors or first time views in telescopes.
Just absorbing, moonlit silence.