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  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Northern Lights-seen them live?

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    One of the natural phenomena that I want to see in the night sky in my lifetime soon.

    My partner has seen them 4-5 times in life. 1 set was black and white in the night sky.

    We're going 250 km. north where more northern lights viewing is possible...but even long time locals haven't seen them. It is the prairies...flat open, ec.
    We're actually going to a wild buffalo protected park reserve. That's the real reason why we're going.. I've seen bison several times elsewhere...but this is where they are in bigger numbers.

    Another I hope to see one day....in life, is a moose.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #2
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    northern Virginia
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    Sounds like fun!

    I actually can't remember if I've ever seen a moose. Probably not. Maybe when we were in Alaska, from a distance.

    The astronauts on the International Space Station have posted some amazing photos of the Northern Lights.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Yes! We saw them from a plane at 30,000 feet over Newfoundland on the way from Seattle to London in late December. About ten years ago, I think. An amazing sight. Shootingstar, did you know that there's a Center for the Study of Northern Lights in Churchill, Manitoba? AND you can visit there! http://www.churchillscience.ca/about...ern-lights.cfm

    I am so tempted. I would love to go there. Explore.org has a live cam there and I've watched the Northern Lights on that live cam all winter.

    Ooh...and we saw several moose last year at Glacier Park. The hike to Bullhead Lake there passes several smaller lakes much frequented by moose. Glacier Park is not that far away from you, shootingstar. That's another thing you could look into. Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada borders Glacier Park. Glacier Park is the place of my heart and the most spectacular place I've ever been.

    OK. I'll stop babbling now.
    Last edited by salsabike; 05-13-2015 at 09:45 PM.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I remember seeing them several times as a child. It seemed like it happened on a regular basis.
    Have not seen them in the past 25 years, since moving back here.
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  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Sounds like a great trip. When are you going?

    I saw them maybe once or twice in North Dakota, but very faint and not all that memorable. Not like some of the spectacular shows I've seen in pictures.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsabike View Post
    Yes! We saw them from a plane at 30,000 feet over Newfoundland on the way from Seattle to London in late December. About ten years ago, I think. An amazing sight. Shootingstar, did you know that there's a Center for the Study of Northern Lights in Churchill, Manitoba? AND you can visit there! http://www.churchillscience.ca/about...ern-lights.cfm

    I am so tempted. I would love to go there. Explore.org has a live cam there and I've watched the Northern Lights on that live cam all winter.

    Ooh...and we saw several moose last year at Glacier Park. The hike to Bullhead Lake there passes several smaller lakes much frequented by moose. Glacier Park is not that far away from you, shootingstar. That's another thing you could look into. Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada borders Glacier Park. Glacier Park is the place of my heart and the most spectacular place I've ever been.

    OK. I'll stop babbling now.
    Lucky you, salsabike. Thanks for the link webcam. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/northern-lights-cam which during the day might be polar bears. People go there, to see polar bears too.

    The University of Alberta in Edmonton, has a website AuroraWatch that tends to focus on predictions, photos on Alberta sightings.
    Have been to Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier Park....we hiked across the Canada-US border. Pics and our experience here.

    Moose in Banff National Park are getting less because of disease. This park is 130 km. north of us. But they do hang out elsewhere. When we vacationed in New Hampshire, we tried to see moose in a road stretch that was marked all over with moose crossing sign warnings. Nope.

    A lost moose did show up in a major shopping mall parking lot that's busy with LRT commuting folks last year. Mid-town in our city (1+ million people). Not suburbs. It was captured and taken away safely.

    Ok, sometimes I think it was a dream, but it probably did happen: About 15 years ago, while on national train route, about 20 km. outside of Montreal, passengers, including us, were astonished to see a moose nearly frozen with fear in a cloverleaf highway hub... It was SUCH a weird sighting that even I can't quite believe my own memory now.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-14-2015 at 10:25 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  7. #7
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    Sigh...yesterday, a few hrs. after we got home from Edmonton area,there was northern lights in that area. Problem is that a lot of these predictions aren't foreseen 24 hrs. in advance. Yesterday during the whole day, it was bright and blue sky across the prairies for 250 km. going south. My eyes actually hurt looking at the sky.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  8. #8
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Figures, doesn't it? Although the daytime sounds gorgeous. I took the train from Montreal to Vancouver when I first visited Seattle many years ago, and thought the prairies were beautiful.

    I visited a fiber artist's studio this week. She is doing huge pieces of work, both wall pieces and free-standing sculptures, inspired by multiple Northern Lights sightings, especially during spring and fall in Iceland--she says the best sighting times there are the equinoxes because it's still dark and night AND the weather is more likely to be clear (so we are now thinking about making our next Iceland trip be in some upcoming September).

    Her work looks like this: http://www.gwenlowery.com/index.html and this http://www.gwenlowery.com/Gallery/gallery.html#11
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  9. #9
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    May 2013
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    california
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    some beautiful fiber art!!....and totally agree on the beauty of Glacier NP....and some incredible expansive views

    some of the northern villages in Nunavik, Quebec have some great views of the lights and interesting Inuit myths/stories about them.

    I've seen lots of moose from the great hiking trails in Quebec’s Gaspesie National Park. I think the park has one of the largest populations of moose in Canada.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  10. #10
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    Coincidentally I went to see a small art exhibit while in Edmonton of some local fibre and textile artists. Their themes includes prairie landscape....and contemplation on women's historic contribution to prairie rural life and development.

    (The right to vote for women in Canadian originated in Alberta...maybe the ranching, farming, cowboy environment just toughens women...to survive and speak up...)
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post

    some of the northern villages in Nunavik, Quebec have some great views of the lights and interesting Inuit myths/stories about them.
    THAT sounds fascinating. I've never been further north than Quebec City. Now I have a whole new travel itch--northern Quebec, Churchill--to figure out how to scratch. Shootingstar, have you spent much time in northernmost Canada?
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  12. #12
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    I was in the far Arctic, in Iqaluit, capital city (town) for territory of Nunavut. I was yes, on Baffin Island. Last 2 photos in this blog post... I was there for 2 days. Remaining 8 hrs. was stuck at the tiny airport, with everyone else while a winter blizzard blew in at 180 km. /hr. It was so windy that the plane could not land properly ...and had to fly 200 km. west to land at another town area.

    The Inuit have a big vocabulary to describe different snow...conditions, qualities, etc. Like the Mongolians, who have a horse culture, where there are a lot of horse related words and slang. (Some people realize that Asians have different words to describe "rice", the types, quality of the grain, the products derived, and slang/idiomatic expressions.)
    I believe I bought a book on the language of Inuit as it relates to natural phenomena and natural world. Right now it's in Vancouver.

    In 2003, when I was there (for a job interview), afterwards, I went to the general store to see if I could buy some books written by locals. Not surprisingly it was just academic/scholarly texts, not autobiographies in English by the Inuit. Their language became written only the last few hundred years (I think). It's probably living in survival mode and adjusting to a rapidly changing way of life, they have no time to reflect and write. It reminds of the Vietnamese boat refugees who came to North America. Stories of their experiences written by them in English (or French), didn't appear for the general public, until 20 years later....

    I did buy a soapstone narwhale whale with whalebone horn, from local craftspeople who will schlep their stuff to you in the local restaurant. The owner allows it for the locals to make money.

    I was driven to a tiny suburban hamlet with a one-way 30 km. road. All around was snowy tundra. It was awesome, yet scary. No wonder why people die, easily lost in snowstorms.

    While hanging out at the airport, I met an Inuit mother carrying her 1 yr. child in her amauti (in the hood of her Inuit-style jacket/tunic). They were taking plane flight 1,000 km. south to Ottawa to have surgery for his clubfoot. Access to doctor /health care services is serious problem in the far Arctic. Stuff we don't hear in southern Canada. Imagine living a town of 1,000 and there are NO roads. Not anywhere near a river nor water body. Just tundra or snow.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-22-2015 at 03:28 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    That is a REALLY interesting blog post!
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    It's easy to forget how different things can be for people who live in the same country. A few years ago I visited a small town located in a ravine in Idaho. 50 miles on a dirt road to get there, only 11 year-round residents plus others who spend their summers their. No cell phone service, no locks on the doors in the small hotel, one restaurant/bar which got surprisingly crowded at dinner time.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    salsabike...I did a school exchange trip to Ivujivik, the northern most village in Nunavik, when i was in Quebec. A good location to see the northern lights. I did other trips to northern Quebec to see the huge pods of Beluga whales going through the Hudson strait and the calving grounds of the Leaf River Herd of caribou (400,000+ caribou). There is such a pristine beauty to the mediative views of nature from boreal forest to open tundra to sea cliffs...it's worth the effort of a trip.

    shootingstar….I looked through my journal from that time and I wrote about the Inuit story that the lights were dancing demons pursuing lost souls.

    I like this better….

    billowing waves of sulfurous fire

    swirling mist

    diaphanous dust

    cascading color

    vaporous nymphs and spritely fauns

    dance there on jeweled black
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

 

 

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