A Seasonal Goodbye From the Biggest Dorks Ever

Somehow, night after night, I talked my way through late evening escapades into the countryside for another year on this little blog. You've been here visiting, flattering me in person telling me you check in on this little corner of the web and that means just as much being able to guide you out into remote corners of frozen lakes to freeze our buns off together. So I'm going to leave it short and sweet, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for visiting, for trusting me, for supporting me and allowing me to continue to live this dream of chasing the aurora every night - a dream that means just as much now, no, that's a lie. A dream that means a lot more now than it did a number of years ago when it was still just a dream in a little studio apartment in the centre of a bustling city in the south. So thank you, I'll leave you with some of my favourite images from this past aurora season, and I'll see you back here sometime in the beginning of August. 

So now, there is just one way to end this post and this season, and that is with matching northern lights t-shirts, of course. Have the most beautiful summer, my loves! 

 
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Sean Norman
Doubt, Hope, and An Ending You Cannot Script

A successful clear sky chase can feel like the most triumphant hour I've ever lived. And then at the end of a cloud bank, we're left with just a few clouds and a streak of aurora less interesting than those few clouds and like a May snowfall in Canada, it hits me, we're not in the clear yet - nowhere close. The clear skies are only half the chase, and there's still a lot left to come together in this shortened May aurora chase. Sunset is very late, sunrise is very early, and the full moon is rising behind the treeline. It was almost the perfect storm to be worried about running out of time, and time in May = darkness. Moonrise was sure spectacular through the binoculars though. Some consolation. 
But in the end, just before dawn, as one dark cloud overhead let some light rain showers fall, the break-up we've long been waiting for danced across the sky leaving piano keys and curtains of green and pink very much visible to our sore eyes.

It was perhaps the most magical close on my third season.

Sean NormanMay
Blissful Drives, Timing From the Heavens, and Cheating Stress

It was the timing dreams are made of.
For about an hour, we weaved in and out of clear skies between heavy cloud banks up northwest, and finally retreated northeast. There's a peace about clear sky chasing against twilight skies - orange slivers on the horizon showing through clouds and deep blues all around. It probably should have been more stressful than it was. But finally settling down into openly clear skies revealed something of perfect timing where some light ribbons (scientific term) danced above.

Sean NormanApril
You're Still Not Overdressed

Despite the rivers flowing against sidewalk curbs in the day, the crunch of the snow under our boots and howling winter winds won't let you feel overdressed for an evening like this, even at the very end of April. And against a 3/4 full moon and lingering twilight on the northern horizon, pinks curtains rippled above the trees. 

Sean NormanApril
A Little Recovery Time is Required

When my camera tumbled two metres off the top of my tripod about a week ago and knocked the lens so far out of alignment I could comfortably blame my poor night time focusing ability on the lens itself, I at least was thankful for having just a few more nights of tours left, and an expensive repair to the lens that would be a tax write-off a week or two from then. It now appears the lens wasn't the only casualty, and the camera body may need a trip into service to cure some battery connection errors. A pair of astronomy binoculars have become a little stiff and may make it back to Zeiss over the summer, and perhaps we all just need some warm weather and a rest, the likes of which isn't far off now.  

Sean NormanApril
A Solemn Realization, A Hopeful Data Set, and The Real Life Long Awkward Pause

The nights of driving to isolated corners of frozen lakes are over and this is not without some sadness. Temporarily on a happier note, we looked to be in for another perfect night - elevated auroral conditions were still among us, resigned to walking out onto a lake or not. We arrived out to a nice little breakup, beautiful in colour and movement, and selfishly fully satisfying for just fifteen or so minutes into our night. It wasn't going to be like last night, but it was spectacular, and as far as cliches go, 'just different'. Then a few hours later, somehow infinitely more satisfying and exhilarating, another breakup filled the sky with curtains of pink, purple and green dancing over our heads. 

Sean NormanApril
#SquadGoals

As I got home a little before 4am, I refreshed Twitter, of course, and saw a post that made me both laugh and incredibly envious at the same time. Regardless of how it made you feel, there were conditions last night that produced some of the most beautiful and unique photos perhaps I've taken to date, including one a few seconds after I put my car in park in my driveway.   

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Sean NormanApril
A Celestial Nudge Toward Enjoying the Viewing

There are plenty of nights where the photography is perfect, the timing of auroral break-ups against the weather is perfect too. But tonight the weather ultimately, finally, after hours of wondering how the weatherperson could be so wrong, came for us. Had that break-up been about 15 minutes earlier, it would be a different song this morning. But the uncontrollables that nudge us into just moment enjoyment can be for the better too. 

Sean NormanApril
Simple Patience, My Old Friend

Tonight may not have sent goosebumps up and down your spine like the last few night nights, but comparisons are never a good thing anyway. There were momentary thrills when greens and very faint pinks raced across arcs above us, but it was a night that required much more patience, this is for sure. 

Sean NormanApril
A Growing Suspicion, A Perfect Script, and A Comfort In the Now

It's been a good run. Night after night for what feels like weeks without too much of a worry or a deep look into weather maps. This probably ends in this next night or two, but there was no sense in worrying about that when assuredly we had one more night like this.
For much of the night, the aurora was beautiful and calm. Suspiciously so, almost. Then when a cloud bank began moving in from the west, just as the most beautiful pinks and greens danced above it, a script more perfect than something imaginable in the first place was born.

Sean NormanApril