By the light of the silvery aurora

Posted on October 14, 2012


There is nothing I love more than storycatching, and of all the stories that come my way the ones that intrigue me the most offer a glimpse into the creative process.

There I was wide awake at dark-thirty Saturday morning, mousing around on the computer looking for something absorbing to take me out of my own head. Apparently Margie Guyot was wakeful too, because pretty soon an email popped up.

Did you see the northern lights? I woke up at 4 this morning and looked out the window. Unusually bright. Hmmmmm… I threw on my robe & slippers and drove to Rex Beach. And it was just spectacular! The whole northern sky was shimmering & pulsing with pale light! I’d have done cartwheels with joy, but who’d call 911 for me? A shooting star even zipped through it. Wow. Was happy I had some afghans still in the car from my last painting-schlepping venture — it was pretty chilly.

I love living up here!

I knew there would be more. Our Margie is not one to waste a good aurora sighting. Sure enough this morning a followup email arrived. Margie, it turns out, had never seen the aurora before except in photos. She wrote:

Unlike many photos, this display was not green or red. It was a kind of “colorless color”. But that was OK. They did pulse and shimmer and it was enough for me. I made a quick pen sketch of the composition, since I hadn’t bothered to take my paints & easel along. It looks pretty rough — I was trying to sketch by the light of the dashboard. And I stared at the sky, making mental notes of the colors. Surprisingly, the sky at night is not always as pitch-black as we think.

She enclosed a copy of the sketch. I love this stuff. But there was more.

I did a little painting of the scene later Saturday morning. Hoping for more grand displays! According to SpaceWeather, there should be plenty more.

I am a big fan of Margie’s night sky paintings, and this one just delights me. It turns out she did a post about it for her own blog, too (Northern Lights!), but what the heck, never too many aurora posts.  And when I am wakeful tonight, I will wrap up in my down coat and take the Duo for a walk on the beach.  SpaceWeather says there are likely to be more polar geomagnetic storms streaming across the night sky.