Sometimes, the forecast for Northern Lights is just fantastic, other times… not so much. This time, the forecast was decent to good. Even better, in Winnipeg, the sky was clear, but with threatening cloudiness coming from the south.

Busted night

Logically we went north. Not a little north, Hecla Island, no less. During the ride there, everything was nice and clear, dark skies and with people coming from that part telling us there was a great show going on. What more do you want?

I wouldn’t have expected that. In a way it seems kind of impossible too. Agoraphobia would be more appropriate if you come to think of it. But no. Claustrophobia is the correct term here. A while ago I heard about caves in Manitoba. My first thought was that these would be way up north, where no normal person can go on a Sunday afternoon.

Testing the depths

Then I saw some pictures from people that had been there, those “caves” were not caves at all. They were crevasses in limestone, much like crevasses in a glacier. Only warmer and less slippery.

As a kid, I was always amazed by the colours of fall, in those oversaturated images from the US or Quebec. I never thought that these images were real, always oversaturated while printing. Just open the ink valves a bit more and, poof!, better looking image. So when I went on a trip last weekend with a friend, I never thought that those oversaturated colours could exist in nature.

Sunrise

Manitoba has no relief to speak of, so images of mountain sides and sweeping valleys are out of the question here. Therefore getting those colour palettes seemed difficult. Yet this weekend, they were possible. There had been virtually no wind to clear off the leaves, a fairly moderate temperature range and some rain.

A few weeks ago, our sun had a few sunspots. Probably bigger than a few times the size of Earth. For ages, people have thought that there was nothing bigger than earth. Travelling the surface of the planet took like, forever. Then came the notion of the speed of light and the relative speed of the light from the sun to the earth. Eight minutes is what it takes for a photon to erupt from the surface of the sun and reach the earth.

Our sun

Galileo, who first opined that the earth turned around the sun, lost most of his eyesight to the search of sunspots. Spots barely bigger than a pinpoint on a sheet of paper in a dark room. Yet he found them and described them. He paid for his discovery with the loss of his eyesight.

It’s that time of the year again. Hummingbirds are everywhere. Well, mostly in places where they have something to eat/drink. My yard is a no-go place for them with my cat trying to catch anything that flies. Due to her weight, she fails most of the time, but I wouldn’t want to take a risk with birds. Hummingbirds. Everybody on social media posts about them now.

Ruby throated hummingbird

My first hummingbird sighting was in the Caribbean, a long time ago. And even I only got a glimpse of a silhouette of the little thing. It did get me excited to want to see more.