Early Nights, the Warmth of +1, and That Seasonal Goodbye

I’ve been in bed by 9:30 in the evening, and fast asleep not an hour later some of those nights, and it’s been absolutely glorious. I’ve read a book and a half in the two weeks since my last tour, and the sun is decorating my face with freckles in a way that hasn’t happened since I’ve been 15. There’s nothing like getting sunburnt reading on the patio in shorts and a t-shirt at 1°C while the wind still numbs your fingers a little. This weekend however, temperatures are climbing into the high teens and it’s going to be delightful. The birds are coming back, the city’s gravel picker-upper (read: horrible dust launcher) has come and done it’s half hearted job through our neighbourhood, and there’s even buds on the trees and bushes in our yard.

So with our bright nights among us, thank you all for another humbling year, for coming and supporting me, for somehow allowing this to continue to be my work, my career, my life, and only because you’re truly so good to me, my love. Thank you for the visits to my blog and all the time you spend here.

Enjoy your summer, this small collection of my favourite photos from the 2018-2019 aurora season, and you’ll see my freckleface back here sometime in the first two weeks of August!


Sean Norman
The Grand Finale into Hibernation

The end of my fourth aurora season in Yellowknife came to a close tonight, and I needed it.
I can’t sit here and tell you that right now I’m excited for August to come, because I’m really not. It’s been a long year, a really expensive year in vehicle maintenance among other things, and probably the most generally stressful year of my four so far, and I’m really, really ready for summer. But this finish tonight, a beautiful dance halfway back to town from where we started our evening was the most beautiful seasonal goodbye.

Sean NormanMay
Crawlspace Gripes, the Slider Test, and A Sick Idea of a Joke

Looking ahead from a couple days ago, there was no way Environment Canada was in their right mind. -22 overnight on the second last day of April, are you kidding. Our car block heater extension cords, mukluks, insulated pants and parkas went away in the crawlspace weeks ago and guess where I crawled back into last night before tour? Whhyyyyy.

And not that the car’s temperature reading or my handheld thermometer couldn’t be trusted, but the true confirmation of winter test came back positive this morning when I tugged on our sliding deck door to crack it open for fresh air and it was frozen shut.

Summer went fast this year.

Sean NormanApril
There Are Worse Problems in the World Today

A lot worse than taking three nights off, coming back to work and realizing you probably should have left town at least a half hour later than you did. It’s still bright at midnight. Who would have thought that, at the end of April. It might have only been a year since this last happened but perhaps my memory has aged more than a few in that time.

There really are a lot worse problems in the world right now than being out at a lake during twilight, watching clouds float by, and as the sky continues to darken, witnessing more stars fill the sky along with streaks of the light once barely discernible with the naked eye becoming quickly unmistakable for the aurora herself.

Sean NormanApril
Not Work

Tonight was a night that felt not at all like work. It’s the home stretch to summer, or as I joke but not really joke, my hibernation.

We were with friends tonight, photographers, the most beautiful moonrise and and clear sky. Cloud banks casually passed far to the south of us. The temperature was nice, the wind was little and twilight of both sunset and sunrise was lingering. Everything was just perfect. These nights to the end, please.

Sean NormanApril
Welcome Back

And here you thought we were done for the season.

Aurora season is winding down, that’s no secret, but I still have some nights left this year if the weather keeps it’s act together for more than a few hours.

Sean Norman
The Perfect Reveal

Running up and down the Ingraham Trail like we were trying to escape a tidal wave coming from spring melt. But then we came just outside of town to the west and as the clouds cleared completely overhead they revealed a very faint green curtain momentarily dancing above us.

Sean NormanApril
Fall Feelings

Where’s the windshield wiper switch again, I asked myself leaving the house.

We left in rain, which I don’t know if I’ve ever seen in April before, let alone the middle of April, and it continued on off and out of town chasing an orange glow from sunset far, far on the northwest horizon. We managed clear skies, but keeping the aurora in those clear breaks required much running around and many kilometres.

Sean NormanApril
Dodging Another One

It’s been feeling like night after night in April we somehow manage to just nearly escape getting clouded in. Some nights it’s a chase, others more a stakeout, and tonight some combination of the two.

Sean NormanApril
"I Don't Know what I'll Tell My Mum"

It’s 1am on a Thursday night and I believe we’ve all been in this situation.

Just kidding. I know nothing about what you’re thinking. Before I was doing this all night every night, I was sitting in my studio apartment back in Richmond drinking pots of tea watching AuroraMax live. I’m almost so boring that my own mother would be suspicious of me.

But this wasn’t about any of that. It’s about how on earth you actually explain what you’ve seen and experienced to those you care about back home who have no idea. And as always, it was concluded there really cannot be words to this. You just have to experience it.

Sean NormanApril