Orionids

The 2am alarm felt like it came early. I made a quick check to see if the cloud cover projection has improved – the forecast went from partly cloudy at 70% at bedtime to 25% over a few hours of sleep. I grabbed a backpack with my camera, sit pad, tripod, warm layers, and my 40d summer sleeping bag. On the way out the door I tossed in some Via coffee and my MSR Windburner and a Nalgene.

By 3 I was on the road, by 4 hiking up the ~1.75 mile forest road / trail to Silver Lake. I got set up and snapped the first few test shots and settled in on the shore.

Silver Lake runs north south on the western side of Vermont. It has a ridge to the east and west. Its fairly well protected from light from Middlebury, and Orion would be visible to the south.

I parked at the Falls of Lana trailhead and made quick time of the old forest road to the lake. I scouted from the dam and settled in at the beach. It wasn’t long before I started seeing meteors. After taking a few test exposures I setup a 2 second delay followed by 10 shots.

I varied the shutter time a bit – and I think I either was a few seconds too long or I missed my focus point on some of the images.

After about an hour was quite chilled – so I pulled the 40d summer bag from my pack and wrapped up in it and fired up the stove for some coffee. The light continued to change – it was lovely to see night turn to day, and watch the stars shift slightly to the west as the sky went from dark to blue.

Silver Lake was quite still – there was no breeze at the lake – and the water reflected the stars and the distant ridge.

I was surprised at how clear the reflection was – I was able to make out Orion and the Pleiades in the reflected light on the water, as well as the rocks and the lake bottom just below the surface.

Just before sunrise I packed up and made my way down the hill to the car. I was home before most of the family was out of bed… just in time to make breakfast with the girls, and make another round of coffee for myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *