“Pics or it didn’t happen”, goes the meme. Well, we got the pics! Here are a couple of the best. They also happen to be some of the first ones taken. We had headed west, along Lakeshore Drive (No not that one.), squinting into the setting sun. On the way out, two foxes crossed the road. Sounds like the opening for a joke. We found a great place for observing, a boat ramp near Naomikong. We had arrived early, so we had plenty of time to wait. Anne knitted until the light failed and I tried to figure out how to operate my cameras.
About the time that the light was starting to get good other people began to arrive. The first car to arrive pulled all the way down the boat ramp, so that its front wheels were in the lake. Other cars arrived and there was some coming and going, which was annoying, what with us trying to maintain our night vision. The husband of an older couple first saw the aurora borealis. Without his sighting, we might have missed the whole thing. As you can see in the photos there is still sunlight on the horizon. I have an aurora app on my phone and I had been studying it all day. The app showed that peak intensity always seemed to just following sundown. This was the case for us too. There was a brief window of about half-an-hour when we saw the northern lights.
We ended up staying there until 12:30. Even though we never saw the aurora again, there was so much more to see in the dark, dark skies of the Hiawatha National Forest. Near the end, we thought that the northern lights were coming back, but eventually concluded that what we were seeing was fog on the lake. On the way home, we saw one more fox, but this one was sitting still in the middle of the road. The Indian’s casino was doing a great business, when we passed it. Otherwise, almost everything else was tucked in for the night.