Wild wild North

My life 350 km north of the Arctic circle

Silent fireworks

I’ve had kind and very lucky guests visiting from Germany. The weather forecast had been dim, just like during the weeks before. The evening of their arrival was supposed to be the only cloud-free one of the week, otherwise it’d be all overcast with a bit of snow. So my guests would only have one single chance to see the famous northern lights everyone was so crazy about. I wasn’t too optimistic – I hadn’t seen any decent lights in a long while, and the “high season” was supposed to end in February. Thus I didn’t bother with bringing my camera along when we decided to go for a little walk after seeing a bit of a glow above the horizon.
On our way down to the sea, where there’s even less light pollution than around my place, a narrow greenish arc started showing up across the sky. It was a pretty sight, and impressive for my guests, but nothing that would entice me to leave the comfort of my home if I was by myself.
We stomped through the snow until we reached the beach, and watched the sky. Glowing started in several other places. Small white spots that had hardly been distinguishable from clouds were evolving into glowing spirals, stretching out, merging with others and eventually fading, while someone was already shouting: “Wow, over there – another one!”. I started to regret not having brought my camera, but there wasn’t much time for that. We laid down in the snow to observe the amazing show. The whole sky was in motion, blazing everywhere, lights wandering, dancing, turning, seemingly exploding. It was like silent fireworks. I’d been used to the “normal” greenish glow and sometimes a bit more, from here, from Iceland, from Greenland. I’d never seen my northern lights in that intensity, though. “Welcome to the Arctic”, I whispered to my guests, “It seems to like you”.

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