Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why there are no snowmen in Winnipeg

I make no apologies about todays post – you see I am an addict. I want more. I need more of this. I crave more of what I had last night!!

Plus, I now know why there are no snowmen in Winnipeg!!
Last night I spent about 20 minutes stood in a freezing cold, snowy, school playing field opposite our apartment  staring open mouthed at the sky. At the time I didn’t care about anything else in the world except for me, Buffy the moment we were sharing. No one else was there and we just stared, open mouthed at the night sky – dumbstruck by the experience. I want more of it – I need more of it. I didn’t sleep last night as I dreamed of more of the same. Once you have had some of this you need some more...

A glow around the trees

Look carefully....

A little more....

See!! (Sorry for the blur)

Let me explain .....

I have been very lucky in my travels in the last couple of years. I have experienced some amazing things – In Nepal I swam with elephants and watched the peak of a mountain glow red as the sun rose above the Himalayas. In China I sat alone on the Great wall during another stunning winter sunrise. I swam on the Great Barrier Reef and watched the shadows dance around Uluru as the roasting hot sun fell past the horizon. In Indonesia I climbed and peered inside a Volcano and once again watched as the sun rose above it. I have stood on the precipice around the Grand Canyon, slept on a hammock in Fiji and rode a scooter around the highest road in the mountains of Vietnam.  
Mother Nature has been kind to me with the sunrises and sunsets she has created, but she has also been a bitch – with floods in Thailand, an earthquake in New Zealand and storms in Asia and Australia. I thought at one point that she (Mother Nature that is) had something against me as we seemed to be constantly fighting the elements wherever we went. But Mother Nature IS a good mother. She not only teaches you about the nasty parts of the world – she also gives you treats like the ones mentioned above. Last night it was her that made me an addict – She gave me a treat that I will never forget and one that I want to experience again and again.  Last night Mother Nature got out her little box of treats for when Rick has been a good boy and she dug right down to the bottom of it where she keeps her very special stuff.  She showed me something I have never experience before and something that no photograph, no video and no jumped up blogger (me obviously) can describe. There are no words for how it makes you feel. Dumbstruck and tiny – like the world had been reduced to the size of a tennis ball and we were stood on top of it as it floated in space – just stood staring at the greeny haze that floated above us in the sky. 

The Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis.

 We have all see light reflected off the ripples of water against a wall or under a bridge. Take that dancing ripple effect – make them the brightest most stunning green colour and project it into the sky – it’s the closest thing I can imagine and is utterly useless as a description because it doesn’t come close.   
A helicopter flying past the Aurora

a second later

and more

As you see, I cannot describe it in all its glory and remember - we were stood in the middle of a big city, on a cloudy evening with the contamination of street lights all around us – But still in the sky there were these balls and streaks of beautiful green light. They were mesmerising us as we stared, pointed and giggled like small children and spotted more of them.  I have looked through the internet trying to find a suitable description. People write that the lights dance, or that they move in waves. I have no idea what to write about them. I just want to see more. Even in the middle of the city there were amazing for the few minutes that they lasted.  I cannot imagine how amazing they would look if we went out into the countryside on a clear night. But I want to find out.

The photos on here are terrible, I know! I cannot do the lights justice – but the people of Winnipeg and everywhere where you can see the lights are lucky. They have the opportunity to see one of the most amazing shows imaginable. The lights do not occur every night though – they come and go. I will be looking out of the window tonight, tomorrow and every night from now on in the hope that I see them again. 

I nearly forgot – it’s been snowy in Winnipeg for about 4 or 5 days now. There has been about 12 inches of the stuff falling and the trees, parks and gardens all around are covered in a sheet of white. But I have wandered all around town and failed to spot even one Snowman. You would think that the children would be out all day throwing snowballs, building snowmen and enjoying the white stuff. But now we know why...... the kids are all at home, keeping their mums and dads happy. Behaving and being good little kids so that when the Northern Lights are in the sky, mum and dad will wake them up and let them see the amazing show. 




I’m sorry that my photos do not do it justice. It was about minus 15 degrees Celsius, just after midnight and my hands were shaking with the cold and excitement. I fired off as many pictures as I could without taking my eyes from the sky and checked out the pictures later when we were back in the warm. Next time (I am determined there will be a next time) I will grab my tripod and attempt to get somewhere better, where the lights aren’t partially obscured by street lamps. However, I’m sure you will agree – some of the photos turned out pretty good – even though they are blurred and badly focussed. 
Just a little bit

The glow behind the trees

Look right in the middle

Getting brighter

A large streak of light

More of a glow.


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