Dark Sky—Riding Mountain

Star Trails

I went up to Rid­ing Moun­tain for the Lights Out event.

My friend Tim was camp­ing up there, too, so I went up a bit ear­ly and stopped in to see him. We went elk bugling—a birth­day tra­di­tion of his—but the elks weren’t hav­ing any of it. Oh well.

After that I went to the park in Clear Lake, where the lights were well and tru­ly out. It was dark enough that, more than once, I near­ly stepped on some­one because I couldn’t see them. Per­fect con­di­tions!

First I snapped some Milky Way shots. This one’s my favourite:

Milky Way
The Milky Way, with an ever­green for scale.

Then I set up for some star trails. I set my timer for an hour, set my cam­era to take 15-sec­ond expo­sures, and sat down on a bench to lis­ten to my shut­ter click.

After sev­en min­utes, the lights came back on. Sodi­um lights, too, so it washed out every­thing, mak­ing the trees and the beach look orange.

So the head­er pho­to is 7 min­utes’ worth of Earth’s rota­tion, instead of the hour I was hop­ing for. Oh well. It still turned out pret­ty good, I think.

Prints are avail­able. Con­tact me for details.