Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Northern Lights


No, I’ve never seen them in person. Well. I might have seen a tiny bit of some once, but I’m not sure.

I’ve been watching all the great Northern Light images popping up on Facebook. Many are being shot in northern Michigan, often very near where I used to live a lifetime ago. Sometimes I can tell exactly where the photographer was standing because I’ve stood there myself.

Creating pollution, light and otherwise while waiting for the Northern Lights.

Now days I live far away from the northern reaches of the Upper Peninsulia which would be my first choice of viewing locations. It’s just not practical to jump in the car when conditions are right and drive ten hours on the off chance the dancing lights appear.

It was a crazy night.

But I’m sure, sooner or later, I’ll be in the right place at the right time. In fact I was, kind of, a couple years ago.

I never saw this fist cloud that night, only when I reviewed images later.

These are photos from 2019 when we were in the UP in the fall and northern lights were predicted. Not only predicted among local northern light buffs, but also on national news networks. Everyone knew there should be lights that night.

Is there some green light over there?

Which is why we found ourselves on a beach looking out at Lake Superior along with a few thousand of our closest friends, all of whom were enjoying bonfires producing smoke obscuring the sky.

Bad composition, but the Milky Way is there.

Yep. That’s the closest I ever got to seeing the Northern Lights.

They’re out there somewhere. I never did figure out what that red spot was in the water.

It was a crazy night, and though I was facinated by the others on the beach, mostly Michigan Tech students, we couldn’t see much of anything out over the water. I didn’t even look at these images when we finally made it home from our adventures. We’d seen so many other wonderful things that trip I never thought about these shots at all.

But I have to say…maybe, just maybe I did see some Northern Lights that night. In spite of myself.

There were people and bonfires as far down the beach as we could see. In both directions.

Note: These aren’t great images, but to see them at all you’ll probably need to be in a dark room and looking at something larger than your phone.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

20 thoughts on “Northern Lights

  1. It must be an amazing experience!

    Thanks for the Princess Katie update –

    All of you are in our thoughts –

    Willow and Phyll

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing!!! I want to see a green flash at sunset. I think I caught one one night at the beach, but I’m not sure.


  3. We all admire your tenacity!
    Next year, for sure!


  4. Oh yes, image number 3 above HAS to be northern lights. Oh surely!


  5. ‘…all of whom were enjoying bonfires producing smoke obscuring the sky.’ I wonder if they thought about that in their search to stay warm. Still pretty photos, Dawn.


    • It was a warm night, so no heat needed. But it was also the first weekend the students were back, classes hadn’t started yet, they had no homework, and they were just happy to be together. They were mostly burning pallets which made a LOT of smoke. There were dozens of fires down the beach. It could have been a noisy party, but it was oddly polite and restrained. The students themselves were very respectful of us few older folks out there. Hard to find a parking place though, that was our first hint the evening wasn’t going to be what we had anticipated.


  6. So people are seeing northern lights here in the UP these days? I haven’t even seen any shots on Facebook, although there were rumors of their potential. But, alas, I am in bed by 9 or 9:30, so it’s just not happening here… although once Barry woke me up on a birthday and gifted me with the most beautiful northern lights skies!


    • Last weekend there were several nice events as they call them. I belong to a FB group called Aurora Hunters or something like that. Let me go see if FB is up so I can give you the right title….one moment please…It’s called Michigan Aurora Chasers. I see that there are actually several orthern Lights groups. There have been many images from Copper Harbor….most of the activity was right around the end of September for this last batch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d love seeing the Northern Lights, too. Congrats on getting close enough to capture some of the magic!


  8. I think you did see them. I’ve seen them a couple times, once in northern British Columbia and once in Quebec. They weren’t really bright like I’ve seen in photo but they were green and did shift in the sky.


  9. I have seen them a number of times. Always a magical experience! I would like to photograph them one day:)


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