Dry Spell

After a few months away, I hope to catch up and post our summer highlights in the next few weeks.  For now, here are some images captured this past weekend of the northern lights.

The best conditions for seeing the northern lights are clear skies, no fog or haze, the moon being in its darkest phase and viewing them away from city lights.  Of course you also need other factors that actually cause the northern lights that are way too scientific to get into.  After midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning, we had a full moon, hazy skies from forest fires, but crazy high aurora numbers (non-technical term).  Although we live in the city, I checked outside to see if I could find any sign of them.  I am so glad I looked.

It certainly wasn’t the most vibrant display I have ever witnessed because of the bright moon and hazy skies, but it was the most amazing.  The lights were to the north, west and east and also directly above.  I spent nearly two hours outside and another hour before I could fall asleep.

Spring Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights were out last night.  With very little preparation, I grabbed my camera bag, tripod, flashlight and pepper spray and ventured out to see if I could capture the elusive lights.  The location I was hoping to watch them from had too many houses and cars passing by with lights that would not allow me to see the aurora.  I kept driving and found myself on a dead-end dirt road.  An open hayfield with a great north view was found by chance.  Despite fumbling around in the dark with my new tripod and some very uneven ground with mud and snow, I did manage to get a few images of the aurora.  I’m still working on my technique and need to be better prepared next time, but overall I think it was a good night.  I didn’t get eaten by coyotes and the farmer who owned the field didn’t come out of his house with a shotgun.  Definitely a good night.

Aurora Borealis, Round Two

I learned a few things from my first experience with the northern lights.  Lucky for me, I was able to view them many miles from the nearest city the very next evening.  There were fewer clouds and I was better prepared with my camera gear.  The lights weren’t as intense as I had hoped, but still worth the wait in the dark.

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In order to have an open view to the north, Mike and I left the cabin that faces south and walked down a dirt road in the darkness to a small pond. We watched the northern lights together, but after they began to fade, he decided to walk back to the cabin and get some sleep.  I opted to wait and see if they would pick up again.  After several minutes, I heard a huge “kersplash” in the pond next to me.  It was followed by another large splash.  As amazing as the aurora was, I quickly gathered my equipment and walked briskly back to the cabin.  Perhaps just deer in the pond?  I will never know and it may be best to keep it that way.