I do not have a great location for an observatory, light pollution from 2 close cities and a heavily wooded lot. The second one I can deal with since many of the trees are pine and not very attactive to begin with! Some have already come down, more are coming down later this fall.
I decided to build the observatory on the northwest side of the house and off the main deck overlooking the pond. From this location I will have to image over the house for anything in the southeastern sky.
Aerial photo I shot a few yeas ago, I should have an updated one later this fall.
The actual building of the observatory began on July 23th 2006. I was able to borrow a back-hoe from a neighbor, this saved a lot of back breaking work. I then added 6" of crushed base and compacted using a plate compacter rented from HomeDepot. Now it is ready to the 3' sewer riser.....
View from the deck
Mike the neighbor's son was running the back-hoe
Marked out ready for digging
View looking west over the pond
Mike's son Nathon 8 years old really got the hang of operating the back-hoe!