Thanks, everyone! It was really fun to get a look at our nearest star and see so much going on.
@JeffreyC & Aquarellia--I've never done a sunspot number count--never seem to have consistent clear weather to start doing it--but it is a thing that we amateurs can do to make a small contribution. They have been making a sketch and a sunspot number count at the Mt Wilson observatory every clear day since 1917. http://obs.astro.ucl...u/150_draw.html
@Frank, Andre, & Mel--it has been basically overcast here almost every day since mid-December so a clear(ish) day on a weekend made me jump.
@JimPie--that is not a filament trailing the leading and middle spots in AR 1654 but rather the penumbrae associated with the umbrae (the dark cores) of the sunspots in the solar photosphere. You need an H-alpha filter (or dedicated solar telescope like the PST) to look into the chromosphere and see filaments. There may well have been active region filaments (ARF's) connecting those sunspots visible in the photosphere but you need to look in a different wavelength to see them. See why solar observing is so much fun?
@Uwe--I knew when I could see the AR with the unaided eye that they would be impressive through the binoculars. I'll bet they were even more so seen through your telescope.
Back to clouds and rain here.