Northern Lights viewed from Anchorage.

It was monday night, Kieara's birthday. After spending the night listening to poetry, drinking, and dancing with assorted friends, I arrived home at two thirty. Being wide awake, I spent some time working on the computer, drinking red wine. The phone rang, "Why are you calling so late?" I asked, "The Northern Lights are out" came the answer from Matt. Grabbing my camera and attaching it to the tripod, I skip out the door and down one block to the coastal trail, overlooking the inlet. There they were, sliding across the sky. Putting the tripod unsteadly down on the grassy verge, I stared up at the sky.

I'm going to need a wider lens.

It started directly above the horizon in vivid streaks of green and flowed up over the sky to disapear in the city light pollution behind. Standing slightly unsteadaly, following the lights with my eyes and head, leaning further and further backward, I stumbled, wheeling my arms and catching my balance just before landing on the grass.

The camera could not pick up the size of the display, or the feeling of awe which it inspires. The pictures on this page represent maybe twenty percent of the sky in which they were flowing. The pictures also cannot reflect the speed in which they change. I would set up the camera for a particurally beautiful selection and it had changed into something else before I could click the shutter.

I gave up and sat back on the grass, staring at the beauty of ion's impacting into the earth, and smiled.