I received an email this week from my very dear friend Frank McCabe, Frank hails from Chicago but has another home in Arizona.

Frank's pastel sketch from that evening

Frank and I have been pals for around 10 years now, brought together by the internet, our love of astronomy and our passion for drawing and painting. Four years ago I was 50, my family arranged for me to travel to Arizona to meet my pen friend. I had the most incredible time as you can imagine, superb skies, amazing scenery and wildlife and the best possible company.

Frank was on a visit to Arizona where his family live and along with his daughter Michelle also a keen visual observer, they journied out into the desert in the shadow of the beautiful Superstition mountains and enjoyed a nights observing together on the exact spot that Frank and I had observed for serveral warm and memorable nights in 2011.

I’m sharing Frank’s email with you, I hope it moves you a little, because it moved me a lot!

“Michelle and I had a great time observing
Saturday night. We we over at Peralta Trails
drive at the exact spot we used 4 years ago. For the most  part we looked southward near the horizon through Centaurus,  Scorpius and
Sagittarius but more northerly targets too.

When we were examining Omega Cent. globular cluster we could
see the core is actually much brighter than the periphery  but the increase from edge to center is very gradual and  gives the impression of being flat. The atmosphere was  steady but the transparency was slightly less than our nights there 4 years back. You could not see Centaurus A as  well as we could. Lots of great globulars and emission,  reflection and planetary nebs
on our check list. Of course  the time raced by to near midnight. Some nice meteors
streaked across the sky and the expected UFOs. At one point  we saw 3 ‘UFOs’ moving through the sky and you could connect  the 3 of them and that
formed a triangle, no aliens were  seen landing  however. ;-(

We had a group mule deer run past us and 2  great horned
owls communicating between the tops of the cactus.”

 

Your friend, Frank 🙂