October 16, 2014
On Tuesday night, my friend Peter and I witnessed an awesome display of northern lights on the shore of Klotz Lake in northern Ontario. We left Sudbury in a light rain around 10 AM and drove north to Kapuskasing. It rained most of the day, at times very heavy. We finally drove out of the rain near Hearst and proceeded westward, driving through a beautiful sunset, passing by tree after tree with absolutely no opportunity to make a nice photograph. Disappointed, we eventually reached Klotz Lake, about a half hour east of Longlac where we made a few images of the last light around 7 PM.
We decided to camp out at Klotz Lake and be ready for a potentially nice sunrise the following day. As night fell, we noticed the milky way and made a few compositions. At the same time I received a text alert from Soft Serve News that northern lights might appear around 9 PM. We had received an earlier text alert stating that northern lights were at 'storm level' around 6 PM but, unfortunately, it was still daylight so we could not see them then. As 9 PM approached, we began to notice a green color tinge in the background of images so we suspected that we just might see auroras tonight. As predicted, the northern lights did appear and danced brilliantly for about 5 minutes, returning a few more times in the next couple of hours but much less brilliant. I made a few compositions with a wide angle lens and then shifted to a 16mm fisheye lens to capture the auroras reflecting in Klotz Lake. What a show! It had been a while since we witnessed such an amazing display!
September 14, 2014
The current solar cycle is near its peak but this cycle has been unusually quiet. There was however some northern light activity during the last couple of weeks. I ventured out on three separate occasions following predictions for good northern light activity in Manitoba but witnessed strong activity on only one of those nights. The best northern lights were undeniably during an unscheduled visit to the bathroom around 3 PM in Indian Head, Saskatchewan! It pays to keep our head up!
September 14, 2014
I recently returned from traveling 9,000 kms to Alberta to photograph landscapes and wildlife. Just a few days after my return, Brenda - one of my neighbors - spotted an unusual bird in the pond behind our houses. Brenda, always observant, has in the past alerted me to some very interesting bird species and this one was no different. I went out and discovered three Great Egrets (Ardea alba) feeding in the pond!
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In anticipation of the lunar eclipse, I went out last night at sunset to view the full moon rising above the prairie. I captured the moon cradled by a large cottonwood near Grande Pointe. As the moon rose beyond the layer of cloud above the horizon, it began to take on a pinkish cast for a while until it got higher.
We can now safely assume that Winnipeg's worst winter since 1898 is officially over! We just experienced the coldest and most brutal winter of the past century. But today was a markedly different day. It started off with a little morning sun which begged a nice cup of coffee outside on the patio. The afternoon saw a few showers accompanied by the most gentle of rainbows and the day culminated with clearing skies, witnessed by this photo of pink clouds framing a lone tree. Let Spring truly begin!