I wasn’t going to do this last night. The rain was so miserable and the full moon, when it was visible, was so bright, I thought for sure we would get nothing. Also, the party was pretty good.
But then I remembered that the best aurora pic I ever took was taken quite literally in the middle of a rain storm. A hole in the cloud passed overhead, and there they were, and I shot through it for 15 glorious minutes until the hole closed up, and with it my window of opportunity, but I got the shot. In Parry Sound, at 2 am on a work night.
I remembered that when I finally found a preying mantis it was not while I was crawling around in Algonquin Park with a macro lens on, or up in Tobermory, or even at the Leslie Street Spit. It was on Front St., downtown, hanging out in front of the CBC building.
In short, I remembered that sometimes the shot finds you and you’ve just got to put yourself out there over and over again because that’s how great shots get taken.
We drove through a snowstorm so fierce it forced us off the highway around Cookstown, not nearly as far north as I wanted to go. We drove west, trying to get out from under it, slipping and sliding (occasionally alarmingly).
But then there was that telltale glow in the north. The edge of the cloud came, the stars peeked out and with it were the lights. Just outside of a town called Shelburne, not even an hour north of Caledon. Far south of Barrie. I can only imagine what the show was like if you were even further north, and if the moon hadn’t been full but even so we got some beautiful and rewarding photos.
Before calling it a night (well, morning, to be honest) I had to shoot the other way. The moon was as full and bright as you could ask for. The night was silent, the road deserted, and a fine coat of fresh snow covered the trees. Setting off the whole thing was a thick mist that was coming in. I felt like I was in a Christmas card, and even though the moon was compromising the aurora, it was still something to be savoured.
That same fog threatened to make our drive home difficult, visibility was nil in some areas.
Right before we turned for home we were rewarded with one final glimpse of them from the car.
We finally got home at 5:30 am, tired but excited. It was completely worth it :) And yes, as the sun continues it’s show we’re already talking about going out tonight!