Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pre-Spring Aurora Explosion

Throughout the winter, the northern lights were active most of the time, but on account of the snowy weather and overcast sky at night, we only had rare opportunities to see them, thus missing most of the powerful shows.

And then came March with its radiant sun and clear blue sky, which was a promise of upcoming aurora displays. Sure enough, our first chance came on the 14th. There was a lot of commotion in the "aurora-hunters" community in our city with palpable excitement in the air.

I usually watch and take pictures  from our balcony or just outside our apartment, but this time, hubby and I agreed to go some place where we could see the lights more clearly.

And so we took a drive to a lake in the countryside where some aurora fanatics previously took their shots.  We wheeled along a rural pathway with raised snow banks on both sides, and into the pitch darkness of the forests which emitted light only when the reflective sign boards or poles caught the car's headlights.

I wondered if we were the lone travelers as no other cars going that way. When we reached our destination, a few cars were parked here and there. Okay, we had company! Our fellow aurora hunters came earlier and found their own desired viewing spots. We pulled over the side of the frozen lake and trod the almost knee-deep untouched snow toward the open lake where we waited for any auroral activity.

And then the show commenced, faintly at first, which gradually burst and intensified. Oh, bliss! And, oh no, it was all over the sky and I could not fit the whole show in just one frame! I just kept on shooting frantically here and there, missing some spectacular shows going on while shooting another part.

One bonus that we get from watching the aurora in a place of total darkness is that we can see the whole sky richly studded with stars, their sparkles more intense. It's like they're competing with the aurora as to who performs the best show.  The starry sky actually enraptured me as much as the dancing lights!

And then we decided to find another spot that provided us a better viewing perspective. We parked near two cars on the roadside and followed the short trail to the forest that led to the lake. As expected, some "hunters" were busily shooting there. I took a few shots, which didn't meet my desired effects.

As the night advanced to midnight, we had to drive back home, even as the aurora kept on exploding on and off all over us. We had to stop at some points to get a few more shots.

The dancing lights seemed to go on endlessly as we rolled on, their brilliance spilled over the frozen road, making our drive colorful and the night exceptionally memorable.

What a tremendous gift from the "Father of the celestial lights"! (James 1:17)

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