TEHKUMMAH—As the temperature begins to drop and the dark night creeps up earlier with the approach of winter, the odds of witnessing the magnificent Aurora Borealis rise, and what better place to see them than from the Royal Astrological Society of Canada (RASC) designated Dark Sky Preserve at Gordon’s Park on the lovely Manitoulin Island?
With great events like Public Astronomy and Laser Sky Tour sessions, guest speakers and great workshops focusing on the magical kaleidoscopic glow of the north, this is the perfect way to spend your Thanksgiving Weekend, October 9 to 12, and pay tribute to the wonders of the world around you.
Beginning on Friday, October 9, with a Welcome Wine and Cheese Campfire, toast the coming night and get to know your fellow sky watchers around the dancing flames of the campfire. When you can pull yourself away from the warmth of the blaze, head back into the RASC designated Dark Sky Preserve for a Public Astronomy and Laser Sky Tour session, full of information about the great expanse of flickering stars above and look at some amazing space objects through the lens of the park’s telescope. Registration includes camping in the Dark Sky Preserve at night, so you can hunker down in the fields and meadows to stare at the breathtaking sky and watch for the glimmer and glow of the famed Northern Lights as long into the night as you’d like.
On Saturday, October 10, enjoy a luxurious and relaxing morning to rest up from the late evening, before the first event in the afternoon, ‘How to Take Photos of the Northern Lights,’ presented by Jeffrey Deans of the Sault Astronomy Club. Learn the tricks to capturing the mischievously flickering colours of the Aurora Borealis so that you can take home a snapshot of one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in the world. In the early evening, join a delicious pot luck supper and strike a pose in a group photo to remember the weekend, followed by a fabulous Aurora Borealis slideshow of incredible photos taken from the Dark Sky Preserve itself. Later on, participate in a second Public Astronomy and Laser Sky Tour session, and then watch the glittering of the universe above you and let the hypnotizing night sky make you forget all about the onward marching of time.
Finally, on Sunday, October 11, enjoy another late morning before a fun filled horseshoe tournament to start off the day in good spirits. In the early afternoon, you can participate in an optional Art in the Park: Painting the Northern Lights social workshop with Terry and Jen Gordon, local artists who will lead you step-by-step through how to capture on canvas the playful glow of the Aurora Borealis. Later on, enjoy a tour of the nature centre with its fascinating displays on local wildlife, fossils, trees, and astronomy, and take in the shifting fall colours along the park’s hiking trails. Relax and try out some free mini putt on the park’s 18-hole course winding through the natural landscape of a cedar grove, toss some horseshoes, or try your hand at bocce ball before the wind up campfire in the evening to draw the weekend to a close in the same manner it began, by the light of the fluttering flames.
For some additional shelter from the cooling air, optional accommodations such as the Stargazing Cabin, Dark Sky Preserve Bunkie, Bed and Breakfast and Camping Cabins are available. To register, call 705-859-2470, for more information, email email@example.com or visit the website at www.gordonspark.com and check out the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gordonspark.