Seeing aurora borealis is a waiting game, I keep mentioning this over and over it seems. And two nights ago it couldn’t have been more true. I went to a river near Oulu and when I arrived the moon light was so bright, I didn’t notice that faint bow of green in the sky. Once my eyes got used to the darkness I saw it. An hour later the bow didn’t move much at all and still looked like this:
Happy with that sight, I explored the area, trying to keep my feet dry and at the same time keeping an eye on that faint arc. You just never know..
For the next two hours there was hardly any change and so I could enjoy the scenery dipped in moonlight. When the time was closing in to 1am, I ‘discussed’ with myself to stay or go home. The next day I had to work and so my (really boring) common sense made its decision. I started to pack up while that bow was just a tiny bit stronger. It didn’t seem that anything would happen soon, so I reached to remove my camera from the tripod.
It was then when the sky went nuts. Suddenly there were multiple strong bows, very bright. Countless needles danced at a breathtaking speed.. left, right, high up, near the horizon, Boom! Adrenaline kicked in big time. My heart was racing while my eyes tried to capture every movement of the auroras. They got so strong that I could see purple color dancing in the sky and somehow the corner of my eyes noticed the reflections in the water. It was such a rush seeing so many things in a short time!
And then… stop! A few minutes later the sky went quiet again, just like that in seconds. There it was, that faint arc posing innocent as if nothing has happened.
It’s nights like these which keep me waiting and waiting. Keep me going out again and again to see those magical lights – faint or furious. Often that faint bow won’t light up much or bring a much smaller show – but that’s just it. You never know when what will happen. So you better be out there at that very right moment when something subtle turns into something spectacular.