I have been observing the skies though a telescope off and on since I was a boy in the 1970’s. During all of this time observing in various fields around Lorain County Ohio, I have battled wild pigs, arrogant horses, annoying mosquitoes and ignorant neighbors that are afraid of the dark and worship barn lights. There have also been numerous skunks that have passed right under my seat while I sat quietly observing, as well as the ornery O’possum that growled and chased me up on to the front lid of my car. It is an uncomfortable feeling when you know you are being watched by wild critters: knowing that while you can not see them, they can see you.
I have seen meteorite fireballs that have lit up half of the night sky. I have seen one of the two gigantic central cloud belts of Jupiter disappear. Mars is an interesting spectacle when it is nearest to us; as one can then see the polar caps clearly as well as planet-wide dust storms. The planet Neptune, while a challenge to see through that barlow lens on a small low power telescope, is a beautiful turquoise jewel to behold.
There are many tales of late-night equipment issues that all amateur astronomers have time to time; in which that telescope GoTo mount just will not behave and keep its tracking accuracy. Things have shorted out due to the late-night fog rolling in and soaking all of my equipment – causing an early retirement of the observing session.
One the the weirdest things that has been experienced is from the late 1970’s when I was sitting on my best friends front porch looking at the night sky, and a silent but bright object of a round shape floated across the sky. It was silent, but was glowing and dimming in a sequence as it transverses my field of vision and slowly disappeared over the woods.