That's what some astronomers called C/1995-01 better-known as comet Hale-Bopp. It certainly was spectacularly on display in the northwestern sky shortly after sundown. Vivid, alien, wispy and clear, it seemed to hang almost touchable in space against the deeper backdrop of stars.
Cloudy weather over the Rogue Valley area obscured observation for the better part of March and I had only glimpsed the comet early in the morning over the hilltops to the east of us. It was a naked-eye object and complex streamer details were visible with binoculars. The glare of sunrise washed it out pretty well, and it wasn't until pictures started to appear on the Web in early April that I was inspired to attempt some astrophotography of my own using a 35mm SLR and my Meade 4.5-inch Newtonian; "How hard can it be?", I thought.