After being involved in amateur astronomy for more or less 53 years, I finally saw the planet Mercury last night at dusk for the first time. I was even able to get a few pics of it with my Canon XTi mounted on a tripod. Focus wasn't the sharpest on the lens but I got results. This was taken at 5:28 pm and caught Mercury directly below the planet Venus. That alignment made it very easy to see Mercury. The western horizon was somewhat hazy and added a lot of red glow to the sunset and the photos.
My home is just east of several corn fields and this time of year with the corn down, I can drive out to the prairie about 1 mile from home and have an unobstructed view of the western horizon. Just about any horizon for that matter!