(The following is an open letter to Greater New Milford-area residents from the volunteers at the McCarthy Observatory on the campus of New Milford High School.)
Dear friends of the McCarthy Observatory:
June fulfilled all the promises we made in the last newsletter, and maybe more. It was quite a month for us.
The Transit of Venus event was a cliffhanger: clouds were forecast, and they hung around all afternoon. But people came anyway... 40 or so intrepid souls came and gazed at the gray skies.
Patience paid off, and they were treated to more than an hour of seeing the transit, following Venus' journey as it moved across the sun. People squealed with joy. We were impressed by their enthusiasm. It was very special.
We had four events June 9. The morning had a special dedication of a fine granite bench in memory of Diane Esposito, who passed away a year ago, and whose children attend John Pettibone School. The teachers and staff did a marvelous job planning and hosting a very fine event. It was a real honor for us to be part of this.
The afternoon featured the dedication of the Kathleen Fischer Sundial and Galileo's Garden. The turnout was wonderful, and both the sundial and the garden received high marks from the many attendees.
Since that date, more things have happened in the garden, and the sundial has received a polished granite compass rose around its base.
We are very happy with the whole structure, and the sundial's accuracy.
Students, parents and our volunteers then planted sunflowers, started from seed in school by many of the town's second-grade students, in the "1,000 suns For New Milford" sunflower garden.
They are growing very well in the warm sunny weather we have been enjoying. Expect lots of blooms by mid-August.
That evening was the monthly Second Saturday Stars program, again with a fine turnout, especially for the cloudy skies.
Doing that many events in one day seemed daunting, but the amazing volunteers made it all come off smoothly.
Work on the garden will continue all summer, so please make a point of coming to see the garden, the 60 varieties of sunflowers, the sundial and the scale solar system.
And Saturn though the telescope... it is a memorable experience.
The volunteer team