No images tonight! The clouds drifted away after dark for the most part......leaving some thin wispy streaks. However, the transparency was terrible due to a south wind carrying smoke from wild fires burning in northern California.
Jupiter was observable......not great, but enough clarity to go up to about 150x in my 12" Dob. I tried higher power, but the view got worse. I would estimate the planet gets no higher than 20 degrees......about 10 or so degress below the level it reached last year and in 2006. I did not check the time of the Great Red Spot transit, but I doubt the seeing was good enough to see it anyway.
I was able to spot M57, but I couldn't come close to seeing the central star(s). I could barely see it as a ring and not a round smudge......slightly better at 150x than at 55x, but not much.
I couldn't see M51 at all......despite some considerable effort.......averted vision, various chants, and incense burning.
When the big dipper virtually disappeared in the haze, I called it a night.
Oh, almost forgot: First light on a new Orion 27mm Edge-On flat field eyepiece. The view looked as advertised, and I love the twist-up eye cup and generous eye relief.......was very comfortable keeping my glasses on while viewing.