I should claim I had this planned out the whole time, but y’all know me better than that.  🙂  It’s Halloween and here I am talking about goblins! (If you’re confused – or think I am – I write these on Sundays. I know a good many of you see them though on Monday, when the emails go out).  Alas, it was pure luck.

I mentioned last week that one of the things I wanted to do when Holly and I went to Utah last month was spend some time with the night sky.  I am in constant pursuit of better and better night sky images, which at this point means I need to shoot in better conditions than we have here in East Tennessee.  Light pollution can really limit the detail you’re able to capture, and detail is what I’m after.  My Star Voyager image from earlier this year really helped me see the possibilities of my new setup, and I’ve been dying to shoot under dark skies ever since!  So with this Utah trip, I finally got my wish.  🙂

For this week’s image, Holly and I went out to Goblin Valley State Park (hence the name of the image in case you were wondering), which is known for it’s dark skies.  This area is so remote, the skies are simply amazing.  We lucked out and had really nice conditions and got to enjoy the sky together.  These images can take quite a long time to capture, so we pulled up a dirt mound and laid on our backs and took it all in.

Funny story about this spot.  Evidently it is quite common for folks to play games in the valley amongst the hoodoos at night.  I’d heard tale of it, and Holly and I got to witness it.  Well after dark we saw a stream of flashlights coming down into the valley, and that’s when the fun started.  The game was some sort of hide and seek, where everyone goes and hides, and then one or more people go looking for them, and at some point everyone runs back to base hoping to not get tagged (this is what we were able to piece together watching the whole thing play out).  The whole area would go dark and quite, and then after some interval squealing and laughter would ensue, followed by a stream of lights dodging in and out of the hoodoos, all descending on the same location.  LUCKILY Holly and I were way off in the back of the valley, so we could watch this all play out from a distance while not being trampled or mistakenly “tagged” (I would have been much less amused had the lights been streaming in and out of my image! LOL).

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

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Goblin Valley

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