Northern Lights in Churchill, Canada
We made it to Churchill!
Our flight north from Winnipeg to Churchill was close to three hours due to headwinds. The landscape we flew over was strikingly alien -looking to this Florida girl. We arrived to find an unseasonably sunny, gorgeous day, with temps in the upper 20s to low 30s and no wind at ground level.
We are traveling with Natural Habitat Adventures, a premier company for wildlife tours. Our enthusiastic, informative guide Katrina planned for us to have our first trip on the sub-Arctic tundra for sunset and dinner in our rover, but none of us expected we would end up being treated to such an amazing display of the Northern Lights. Even our local driver could not stop taking pics. The lights started out golden, reds showed up through the camera lens, and they just kept getting bigger and more dramatic, filling the sky all around us. It’s true, the colors are greatly enhanced by the camera. As the lights grew they danced and flowed, alternating between appearing like a sci-fi special effect one minute to a smooth glissando on a piano keyboard the next. At one point we had a light arc above us that was as amazing to experience as it was impossible to record.
The pic above was shot with my hand held iPhone, from our vehicle’s open window. To get pics like the pros you need some serious equipment, a tripod, patience, and luck. We hit the jackpot as far as luck goes.
Not to be overlooked, we got to go dog sledding today, completing the “Iditamile”and it was such fun. Once again we were in luck, since it snowed recently and they have only been able to start using the sleds the last couple of days.
Big Dog Dave and his family are multigenerational indigenous Métis who run Wapusk Adventures. Dave is a champion dog-musher who has about 40 dogs and he gave a very interesting presentation about his family’s history as well as the art and science of caring for and training sled dogs. He also loaned me his great fur hat for our ride.
Tomorrow is a big day since we will head out very early to search for Polar Bears. So, I’ll close with a couple of pics and call it a night.