Saturday, September 22, 2007

At last! Northern Lights!

Finally! About 4:30 a.m. this morning I got up to pee here at Berton House, and, on my way back to the bedroom, I looked out the kitchen window, and --

Oh, my God!

Northern lights! A spectacular show of the aurora borealis, rising up from the hills on the far side of the river, and sending streamers back across almost the entire sky. They were a beautiful, ghostly green. I immediately woke Carolyn, and we headed outside to see them. Absolutely breathtaking.

With only three nights left in our three-month stay here in the Klondike, I was beginning despairing that we'd never see the northern lights. The first six week, here in the land of the midnight sun, it simply never got dark at night, and although there have been a few spectacularly clear nights of late, we'd seen no auroral display at all.

But last night! Last night was amazing!

(What's shown above is a stock photo, turned up by Google images, but very similar to what we saw.)

And winter has arrived here. Mercifully, it wasn't that cold out at 4:30 a.m., but this morning at 10:00 a.m. the temperature here was -5 Celsius (23 Farhenheit). Brrrr!

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

-- Robert Service

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At September 23, 2007 1:13 AM , Blogger Ruhan Zhao said...

You are so lucky! I was living in a town in Finland not very far away from Nordic circle for three years, and I only saw northern lights once. It was wonderful. The other time I saw northern lights is at Toledo, Ohio--kind of unbelievable. It was not that bright anyway. The following pages provide aurora forecasts:

At September 23, 2007 10:31 AM , Blogger Janet said...

Best place to see northern lights? Flat on your back in a Saskatchewan field on a warm summer night, watching a sky entirely full of an undulating curtain of green. Friends and a hot dog roast made it even better. That was one of my better childhood memories.

At November 12, 2007 2:47 PM , Anonymous BdrLen said...

I remember as a bou in Northern Manitoba watching swirling greens and pinks shooting across the sky. I was sitting on a big snowdrift watching across the river and over a field. I was there for a long time and I'd swear you could hear the lights in the wind. My dad came to the door and told me it was time to come in. I told him it wasn't so he put on his coat to come and get me.
We both sat together for a long time watching the magic sky lit up like sunrise; It is one of my favourite childhood memories.


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