It amazes me that every sunset will be completely different than the last, and how quickly the light changes.
Kind of sad this year...while I heard them a couple of nights out on the lake, I didn't see a single Loon this year. Some years, I see gaggles of them. I'm not sure if it was just timing or if the population is declining. I'm really hoping it's my timing.
I did see plenty of other birds: a couple of mature bald eagles nest nearby, and as the sun starts to set, the island becomes a madhouse of birds. Chickadees, pine siskins, nuthatches, pine warblers, juncos, alder flycatchers...they all descend for a feeding frenzy before retiring for the evening.
Really spectacularly is the night sky up here. There's no light pollution at all. You can see the thick white clumps of the milky way stretching across the heavens, and every few minutes you can see a satellite blazing across the sky, and at one point, the international space station made an appearance. I was also lucky to be in the middle of the Perseids meteor shower and I got to see countless long-tailed streaks of fire in the sky. It's really quite spiritual. I don't understand how anyone in this area could possibly own a television when there is all this excitement going on outside. Also, I've been living in cities too long. During the NYC blackout in 2003 I camped out on my roof and got to see the stars come out, which I assure you, never ever ever happens in New York.
I tried to take pictures of star trails and really didn't have any success. Granted, I didn't have a tripod and I was using duct tape to keep the shutter depressed....next year, I will come equipped. Sigh.