Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

At last! Northern Lights!

by Rob - September 22nd, 2007.
Filed under: Berton House.

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

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