Voyageurs' Blog

The Aurora Borealis – Lots of questions and no answers

Posted: July 16, 2017 by Frank O'Connor

My guests often ask me if there is a chance they will get to see a panoramic view of the Northern Lights. Since our lodge windows face south, I tell them they most likely have to walk to the beach and look back into the northern hills.
There really seems to be no rhyme or reason to when they appear. We have seen incredible light shows at just about every time of year. One thing is for certain, you must be under high pressure circumstances with clear night skies to be able to view anything.
One of the best shows here at the lodge occurred on March 17th, two or three seasons ago. Friends were visiting, and we were drinking Guinness, just as the lucky ol’ Irish should do on that day. While grilling steaks and shrimp on the barbie, we noticed the brilliant show in the north sky. It was a true feast for the eyes.
Another great show occurred one summer in August, when we were hosting our annual Musicfest. Romi Mayes, from Winnipeg, was playing on stage, and the fellow setting up our fireworks on the beach for after the show, came up and told us that the Northern Lights were just a dazzling in behind the trees.   Most of our guests could not see them, until they backed up far enough away from the tall stands of pine trees in the viewing way.
Absolutely one of the best Northern Lights appearances, I have ever witnessed, occurred on the Friday night of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October, back in the early ’90s. We were driving north up the I-75 to come home for Thanksgiving, and we were listening to American high school football on the radio. The broadcasters in each little town along the route kept referring to the amazing Northern Lights show. The whole north sky was filled from east to west. Gail had to keep bringing my eyes back to the road because it was so spectacular. I have never seen such movement and shimmering, I guess that is the dancing part, as we saw that night.
The Weather Network is suggesting that things might be prime for an Aurora Borealis show this upcoming weekend.  There have been some solar flares let loose from the big ball of heat in our solar system, so let’s hope for clear skies, and some great night viewing. The weather forecast is for sunnier and warmer days, so here is hoping.
cheers my Superior friends.