Most attendees had given up and gone to bed with the cloud cover at midnight. A few of us accidentally enjoyed its clearing after 2:00. We took in views of galaxies, nebulas and star clusters until the near-dawn when Saturn, and then Jupiter and Venus appeared. This was the intoxicating finale of the evening, and with the brightening sky, I staggered to my tent sometime after 4:00.
I have encountered various unexpected events while photographing the night sky. Some are spectacular, like the flash of a brilliant meteor exploding in the sky and lighting up the landscape. Some are startling: the crash of a tree felled by a nocturnal beaver. Some are annoying: the competitive calling of amorous ducks and their disruption of the mirror lake surface I was trying to photograph. And some are downright dangerous.