These few nights now, there's a perfect little back-up plan called the Perseid meteor shower. If the aurora is quiet, at least we have that, and in some way, maybe it's just as magical. If the aurora is very quiet, it's all the better viewing for the Perseids. If the aurora is active, it's a perfect added bonus to our night. There were some variables to this depending on the strength of the aurora and her timing.
None of these variables really included getting unexpectedly stumped by cloud for the first half of the night. It was the kind of cloud that as soon as I got the binoculars focused on one star, clouds ate it up for several minutes revealing another halfway across the sky. Interesting, maybe. Laughably annoying, more than a little. 

Sean NormanAugust