Friday 10 January 2014

Northern Lights

    If you expecting to see a colorful display of the aurora borealis, you are out of luck.  Instead, I offer this night photo of the “lights” of our little “northern” town of McBride, BC. 
    Yesterday on news broadcasts I did hear about the expectation of an aurora during the night, and I had my camera ready, but we had partial cloud, followed later by full cloud.  As a result, I didn’t see any ghost-like greenish curtains moving in the sky, but since I had my camera with me when we went to square dancing, I took this night shot of Main Street McBride at 7:00 PM.  It may not be that obvious from the photo, but the Christmas decorations and lights are still up.
    Since I did sort of mislead you with the “Northern Lights” title I will tell you my favorite aurora story:   
    One cold winter’s night there was a slight greenish aurora, so I thought I would try to record it with my new video camera.  I bundled up, went outside, and set my camcorder to “Night Vision” then put my eye to the viewfinder and aimed at the sky.  
    I was surprised when through the viewfinder, I suddenly saw these, greenish cloud-like objects streaking against the dark sky.  
    “Wow,” I thought, “this is going to be much better than I imagined.”
      As I watched, the green transparent objects twisted and changed shape as they moved across in the view finder.  I was so impressed at what I was capturing on video.
    After some time of filming, I lowered the camera and gazed at the night sky with my eyes--Nothing!  Where did all the streaking greenish shapes go?  Then it hit me what was happening.
    As I was filming and watching through the viewfinder, my breath was blowing in front of the camera and was being illuminated by the greenish “Night Vision”.  So instead of a dynamically changing aurora, the whole  time I was filming my breath.

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