aurora borealis (northern lights)

The aurora borealis (northern lights) form when charged particles emitted from the sun during a solar flare penetrate the earth’s magnetic shield and collide with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. These collisions result in countless little bursts of light, called photons, which make up the aurora.

One of the best places in the world to view the aurora borealis is north Finland, which by some lucky co-incidence is were Lisa and I are.

This was our evening (no sunlight) to go on a skidoo excursions, looking for some aurora action.

which necessitated wearing helmetsthe tempature was -20C (that is a minus, not postive)

I had a tripod and an App to link my phone to the camera, so as not to jar the camera, pressing the button, but it needed bare skin contact with the iPhone for it work, plus everytime I put my glasses on, they fogged up. In -20C bare hands after 10 seconds, they start to feel like I had burnt them. So you will have to make do with the photos I took leaning the camera against the polycarbonate visa of the skidoo for 10 seconds, to share the experience with us.

As we made our way across the lake the aurora made it’s appearancewe stopped for some photos, then continued, for a display that made all the effort to get here worthwhile

there were some pinks in amongst the greens, but my finger angst, missed photographing them

next day’s activity was snow shoeingin serious, new, feathery down, soft snow

Lisa fell over after I took this photothe snow shoe excursion ended at a lovely hutwith a warming fireand a toilet, which looked like a dolls houseI tried walking in the soft stuff, without snow shoes and was in it way up my thighsthe only way out was to swim/crawlThat evening we went off in the bus, up to close to the Norwegian border, looking for more auroras. Nothing like the night before’s show Next day’s activity was ice fishing. We were loaded into a sledge pulled by a skidoofor a ride through the trees to the fishing spotwhere a hole through the ice was drilled with an auger

a reindeer skin was spread out on the ice and fruitless fishing beganice fishing Francis styleit was my turn to fall backwards into to soft feathery snow

As we walked over to check out the nearby buildingOnce inside, it was obvious that it was a Lutheran ChurchAs the German Army were retreating back through northern Scandinavia in 1944, they destroyed all the building to deprive the approaching Russian Army of any shelter from the elements. Due to it’s isolation, this 200yo church was the only building left standing, for 100s of miles.

back to a warm cabin for a bowl of salmon soup, served in a traditional wooden bowl and wooded spoon then back into the sled for the trip back to the resorta reindeer did not want to get of the trail we were on, forcing us to slow down as we followed it for a few hundred metersthe reason it did not want to get off the trail was obvious, when it finally did and sunk down deep into the soft snow

that night as were tidying up the last of the bottle of vodka, there was a number of people rushing past our cabin towards the lake. The only explanation for their behaviour was that there was some aurora action, so we joined the exodus onto the frozen lake to get away from the lights of the resort.

I am writing this in Tallinn, Estonia,  the old city is a photographer’s dream and the beers are a beer drinkers dream. Time to put down the blogging computer and live in the moment.