My time here in the Arctic Circle is coming to an end soon. There have been many adventures and wonders that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
One thing that is coming quickly is the Winter Solstice. Do you remember when I got sun burnt during the Summer Solstice? I assure you it will not occur this time. The Winter Solstice is the SHORTEST day of the year. Again, may not mean as much in the lower 48 as it does here. For those of us who have felt the need to live in the Arctic Circle, it means that the sun does not come up at all on that day. We will have an impression of daylight. We call our current sun movement the Sun Peak-A-Boo game. Here is the Peak-A-Boo from a few days ago. You will notice the sun does not do much above the horizon. By the way this picture was taken at the peak of the movement seen over the tundra, it was about 1:30 in the afternoon. It "set" less than an hour later.
As my time comes close to an end, I was given a marvelous new camera! It is the first one that I have had here that has been truly capable of taking some pictures of the completely awe inspiring Aurora Borealis. I want to share a few pictures that I got last night. I will tell you the sacrifice that was made to acquire them. First, we went out at midnight. Then we realized that there is really no way to prepare for weather as cold as we were sitting in. I had 2 jackets, a hat and two hoods, two pairs of gloves, my jeans and snow pants, super dupper warm socks, and my snow boots. The dog kept coming over and sitting on me because there was no way she could stay warm without lying on top of my lap. This little bit of extra warmth was very appreciated by me! We were still cold as the weather dipped to -34 degrees. Really, you must ask yourself, "Is there something terribly wrong with the folks who claim global warming??"
The shots I posted here were part of the most spectaular display I have seen since being here. Normally I can see the very casual play of low energy lights running along the horizon as I fly in the darker months. These barely show up in pictures as anything more than "misty clouds." Last night the whole sky was lit up with colors that looked like they were raining from the sky! It was really spectacular. I can't describe the movement any better than to say that they move like they have life and mooods of their own. They seem to move in predictable patterns for a few seconds then change. It is incredible! Someone asked me what I would miss most about being here. I will have to honestly answer by saying I will miss the colors!