Most of the nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters are fairly dim objects that take time, dark skies and a bit of experience to fully appreciate. M42 is the exception: it's a vast cloud of dust and gas in which new stars are forming and it's a stunning sight through any instrument, even binoculars show it well. Through a large telescope, it's a glorious sight.
As winter approaches, it gets highter in the eastern sky (more about that nearer the time) but at the moment it rises late and stays close to the horizon so I wasn't expecting much of a show. I was completely amazed to see this on Saturday night:
It shows pretty much the level of detail I could see last night, though through my nebula filter, it was a gorgeous deep blue colour.