Solar forecasts indicated the aurora might be visible as far south as California. I was skeptical. Despite growing up in Alaska, I'd only seen the aurora once, and that was an half-hearted showing: just a patch of dim red sky pulsing slowly.

But it was worth a try, so I arrived on Limantour Beach at sunset and set out to the west. For two hours I walked, the ocean quiet, the crescent moon setting. Maybe the sky to the north was brighter than normal? I wasn't sure. More walking, past the pine silhouettes, almost at the exit. And there it was! Dancing slowly upwards, into the stars. The aurora was too faint for color vision, so this is a faithful depiction of my view.


My camera had no limitations on seeing color. These are too good to keep unpublished, even if they are outside my normal editing standard (memory of perception).

Photograph Photograph