Right page of two, illustrating one of the sites where we waited for the lights to appear - from about 8 PM to 10, this night, as the northern lights did not appear. Consequently, these pictures are from the web page of the tour group. The journaling reads
Nothing is more characteristically northern than standing beneath a clear winter sky and watching the artistry of the aurora borealis as it lights up the dark night in a tableau of color. It can be frigid in Churchill in midwinter.
Our tour company, National Habitat Adventures, has created ways to watch the light show in complete comfort. Their new Aurora Pod, with glass half-walls and roof, features 360-degree views of the sky, and offers an unimpeded, panoramic view of the horizon and heavens. Comfort is provided by cushioned seats and two heat sources. The Aurora Pod is located well outside Churchill on the edge of the tundra, away from any residual light that might distract from the intensity of the aurora display.
As night fell on February 3, we waited for the spectacle of the aurora borealis, the legendary northern lights. Often, the aurora begins as a white glow low in the sky that slowly starts to shift and undulate. Wavy patterns evolve, colors appear and change, until the lights look like shimmering curtains of green, yellow or red. While we know now that the aurora is caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the earth’s magnetic field, more poetic stories of their origin linger, including the Hudson Bay Inuit’s belief that the lights are the magical display of their ancestors’ souls dancing in the sky.
Of course, since the lights are a natural phenomenon, seeing them is never guaranteed . And on that night, the lights did not come out to play.
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