why I love the north, part 3: northern lights

I had to laugh to myself when I realized I forgot to include this one on my list!  Maybe it’s because in our first two years of living here, we didn’t actually seen them all that much.  However, since moving back at the beginning of March, we’ve seen them TONS of times!  It’s been a good couple of months for northern lights!  The other night around 2am, Nuni woke me up, saying, “Sorry to wake you, but you gotta look out the window!”  I didn’t even have to move – the sky was a beautiful, brilliant green.  It was awesome.

I had never seen the northern lights before spending the summer in Dawson City, 2007.  Though it was impossible to see them for most of the summer(24 hrs daylight/dusk), at the end of August I did see them once or twice, on top of  a mountain known as “The Dome.”  Pretty magical.  But compared to some of the ones I’ve seen in Watson Lake/Lower Post over the last few years, they weren’t that exciting!  There have been times when we’ve been driving and have had to pull over just so we could get out and watch them.  Sometimes they fill the sky that you can’t see them all at once, you have to keep looking back and forth, trying not to miss anything. The absolute best is when they dance and shimmer.  It is JUST BEAUTIFUL!

Unfortunately for the photographer in me, it is VERY difficult to take good pictures of the northern lights!  I’ve tried a few times and have managed to get a couple decent photos:

Lower Post, BC – sometime in September/October?

not your typical northern lights, but cool nonetheless

But if you want to see some really fantastic shots, go to Robert Postma’s website(and make sure to check out his other categories too… A-MA-ZING). Robert Postma is basically the northern lights photographer of the Yukon.  I don’t know how he does it.  He must never sleep, and own REALLY warm winter gear!  I’ve often gone out “northern lights hunting” with my friend Bruce in the middle of the winter, but I spend most of the time in the car because I wanted to keep all of my fingers and toes.  We’ve been spectacularly fortunate this past month because you can actually go outside and watch the northern lights without fear of turning into an icicle.

I think everyone should have the awesome experience of seeing the northern lights, and there really is no better place to go than north!


One thought on “why I love the north, part 3: northern lights

  1. Mary says:

    ooh, yes, I remember this really amazing 24 hours I spent in Iqaluit — I’d just had a really difficult four weeks of field work that turned into an unsuccessful Search and Rescue, and I felt tired and sad. And then while we were in town all kinds of great stuff happened, but most awesome was an accordion concert/community supper at the local primary school. And then, when we came outside there were Northern lights, so we sat down on the hillside and watched them for ages. It was like all the horribleness of the previous week just went away.


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