Unable to get the week off so that I could  attend the Cheifland star party, I instead opted for a 2 day camping trip to Kissimmee Prairie. This 54,000 acre preserve protects one of the largest remaining stretches of Florida dry prairie, home to an array of endangered plants and animals.

I booked camp site #20 on the family side.  I've always wanted to stay in this particular location, because it allows you to set up your telescope right next to your tent (or camper) and have a great view of the full sky. This comes in very handy when it's cold and you need to warm up in your heated tent! Temperatures didn't get to low this year , about mid 50's at night, perfect tent sleeping weather.

One of the locals

Biking on the entrance road. Hard shell roads suitable for biking, along with 100 miles of trails/service roads for off road bicycling, are shared with hikers, horseback riders and park vehicles.


Below is my camp site, you can just make out my scope to the right of of my tent.

Camp site #20 Kissimmee Prairie

This year I brought my bike, another must. There are some great trails at KP, below is a panorama of one I found just east of the campground. This image was taken about 2 miles in, it started to get muddy, so decided to tackle the rest of this trail another time.

The weather was hit and miss, clear one minute, patch fog and clouds the next, but I was able to get a couple hours of OIII data on the Bubble nebula, below is a bi-color version of this target.

Bubble Nebula bi-color. 5 hours ha, 3 hours OIII

Here is a short time-lapse video of my 2 days at KP. The daytime shots were taken with a GoPro Hero2, 1 exposure every 20 seconds, the night exposures were taken with my Nikon D5000 DSLR, 20 second exposures at ISO 1200 f/4.5, 18-55mm kit lens. Music was provided by American Dollar and the time-lapse was produced with Windows Movie Maker Live.