Posted in rural life, writing

A Cold Ribbon

I stand awe stricken 

Colours dancing across sky

Worth frigid digits

An under attack event

Climate change threatened

The display on Saturday night was short but amazing. My timing to dress up and go outside spot on. They can be viewed from the house windows but the best viewing is outside. It was -38 (-48 with the wind) so I only managed 2 night exposure photos as it was just too cold on the hands. I did stay out for about 10 mins but I was out of the wind down in the hollow.

Sadly we see the northern lights less and less as climate change ramps up the impact on the systems that cause them. This is only the second good display this winter and trust me – I check pretty much every night around 10:30/11:00. That’s how much I love these guys.

I remember (oh gack one of those old people stories – bear with me!) back in the 70’s laying out on a blanket in the north pasture just being awe struck by this natural phenomena (I wanted to use that word in the tanka but alas no matter how hard I tried it has too many syllables). Not being a science nerd I still don’t quite get now they work but I’m ok with just enjoying them in all their glory.

I actually saw and captured another natural phenomena twice today. Once at sunrise from the lunch room window although they were more distinct in person than they show up through the dirty window and behind the trees! In person they were the colours of the rainbow. Then I saw them again at sunset from my attic window.

Tanka 2 now done

Sundogs and northern lights

Stole the show for sure

Tankas are so much easier than a haiku that it’s taken me 3 days to get the context and syllables correct. So now that I’ve got this draft to the published stage I’ve seriously got a date with Charlotte. I don’t know a lot about other bloggers but I’m not a fan of having a lot of draft items sitting around so that gives me the push to continue with my fiction. So I might disappear for a few days and sit in front of a warm fire and write.

How about my readers — have you a favourite natural phenomena? Or one that you haven’t seen and really want to witness?



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

17 thoughts on “A Cold Ribbon

    1. Deb. I just found this comment in the spam content – weird hey how sometimes WP does strange things. Spooky is not a word I have ever heard applied to the Northern Lights. Awe inspiring and stunning yes. I do remember as a teenager hearing that the Northern Lights were spirits speaking to their Inuit family on earth.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, so many beautiful photos, Bernie. It’s always been a dream of mine to the Northern Lights. Even thou Ireland is in the perfect location to grab a sight of the world-famous northern lights, one of the world’s most unique natural phenomenon, we haven’t had a chance to see it yet. Maybe one day. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva 🙂


  2. I have never witnessed Northern Lights but I sincerely hope I get to at some point. I wasn’t aware that the phenomenon was being impacted by climate change, but I can’t say that I am surprised. I once witnessed a rare rolling cloud (at least they are rare in our area). Unfortunately, it was way before I had a cell phone so I wasn’t able to get a video so I could only watch with amazement.


    1. They are outstanding so I really hope you get to see them sometime. Lots of people go to Iceland to see them. I’m lucky I’ve lived in 3 different locations where they were strong. It’s no so much climate change changing them as obscuring them. A bit concerned about Elan Musk’s internet satellites in the night sky as well – they will have an impact. Clouds are fascinating aren’t they Janis.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent capture of that amazing light show. Even when living up north I have never seen them so brilliant.


    1. Really? I grew up in southern Sask (45 mins from the US border) and we saw them all the time. I know you grew up on the prairies but from my reading your site haven’t quite figured out where yet. And now we live outside of Saskatoon on the darker north east side and spotting them isn’t rare. The last couple of years they have been less but apparently they are cyclic (just read that a few mins ago and I would concur with how some years are better for them than others). We once saw a display of them from our back yard in Saskatoon that had them streaking 3/4 of the way into the south sky and it went on for well over an hour. It was paler in colour (probably the city light interference) but it was cool. You have to be a bit of a night owl to see them as I find they don’t show up till about 10:45/11:15. Often around midnight they are the best.


      1. Well duh!! I recently started reading a blog new to me by a Margaret Hanna and when the comment came from Margaret I figured it was her. Now that I look at the heading I see the difference!
        I am surprised that you didn’t see them when you lived up north. I always figured the father north you went the better they were.


  4. Awesome shots Bernie. We were tempted to go look, but too cold and we would have to go a ways to avoid the light pollution. Thanks for sharing. Allan


    1. Thanks Allan. I’m sure lucky that what land we bought and where we put our house maximizes the view. It was bloody cold and if I’d had to drive… Probably not. Having said that someone drove part way down our driveway around 11:30 pm (shortly after I went back inside) and we suspect they were out watching and didn’t realize it was a private road.


  5. oh my! I haven’t seen Northern Lights since I was a teenager growing up in Northern Ontario. “Awesome” is just too weak a word to cover it, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to see them again some day.
    You took some mighty fine photos – frozen fingers or not.

    I didn’t realize that climate change was affecting the Aurora Borealis. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Climate change is screwing up everything 😕


    1. Well technically I guess climate change isn’t changing them per se but it is causing more cloud formations and major winds which block them. The phenomenon is still unchanged but in a cyclic downswing until 2025. So don’t go to the Yukon to see them Joanne until then! Thanks for the comment about this “incredible” subject. Yes awesome is too weak but it’s hard in a tanka to get all the words dazzling enough (oh dazzling should have used it!)


      1. ‘Dazzling’ would have been a perfect word! … and thanks for the tip about 2025. I’ve always wanted to go north of the Arctic Circle and it’s a goal that remains unfulfilled. I will need to combine the 2 items someday!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope by that time (2025) things are opened up. We had planned a Yukon trip for the summer solstice (being a sun worshipper I’ve always wanted to go the land of the midnight sun) for last year and have now put it off until next year. Your trip sounds interesting. I hadn’t planned on going quite that far North.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yikes that’s cold, but going out to see the Northern Lights like it was worth it. I’ve only ever seen the Northern Lights once and that was while on a plane while flying to Iceland. I’d love to be able to see them again. Someday.


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