October Skies in July

I awoke this morning to a lovely cold front blowing in. I looked out the kitchen window as I gathered items for our breakfast smoothies, took one look at the thick wall of clouds, grabbed my camera, tied on some shoes, and dashed for the door – leaving frozen berries and all in a pile on the counter. In my rush, I swished the remnants of last night’s storm onto my legs, but that was okay; I was going to be in time for a beautiful capture of our neighbors’ red barn under moody skies while bathed in warm morning sun.

Except that didn’t happen. Because I had neglected to switch out my dead battery (I don’t usually let them get that low!) for a charged one. And by the time I trekked back indoors to make the change, the clouds had rolled in far enough that the scene wasn’t nearly as compelling. Sigh. At least the smoothies were good.

And, even though temperatures didn’t rise out of the 60’s (I checked the calendar – it is indeed still July), we basked in the luxury of open windows and fresh breezes all day. In my book, this is a win over last week’s 90-degrees (Be careful what you wish for? Sheesh.), which required constant air conditioning for comfort.

The day was not a photographic loss, though. The thick clouds that announced the arrival of the front eventually broke up, dotting the sky dramatically. We chased the light after dinner, and I came away with the images below. I was hoping for a likewise lovely sunset, but the skies had cleared too much. I’m hoping presently that the clear skies have remained, and I’ll have a shot at the Milky Way. Wish me luck 🙂

Click any photo to embiggen*

* “Embiggen” is a “word” I’ve borrowed from my current favorite wordsmith, Patrick Rothfuss. If you enjoyed Lord of The Rings, I cannot recommend his work highly enough.

Aurora [Northern Lights] Slideshow

The aurora was going crazy last night/this morning. These light shows are often much more fleeting than this one. We watched in fascination for hours last night. If we hadn’t been awake most of the previous night with storms, we probably would have seen the aurora fade into the dawn. Or the clouds.

Most of these were taken from my driveway, but the rest were taken from Torch Lake. They have barely been edited; you’ll notice they haven’t been cropped even. I wanted to give you the chance to click through quickly so that you get an idea of what it’s like if you’ve never seen it in person. Sorry for moving the camera to so many different places; I just kind of never know where exactly to aim, since the northern lights move, and each photo is a 30-second exposure. Regardless, enjoy!

If you’re interested and you missed it, there are a couple of larger versions on my previous blog.

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A Dazzling Night {Aurora!!}

What an intense couple of days we’ve had! Thursday night thunderstorms roared through with what we thought were 30-mph winds that killed our power for over seven hours. Once chainsaw crews rode in and restored power, we discovered that we’d experienced a microburst, which brought 70-mph straight line winds with 90-mph gusts. So that explains all the trees on the power lines and roads, and why it sounded like there was a train in my bedroom. Continue reading

Travelers and Tribulations

“If you don’t like the weather…just wait a few minutes.” Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, was referring to New England, but he just as easily been discussing May in Michigan. In the same week we’ve had hot days with sunburned skin along with freezing rain and snow. This past week we had several splendiferous days of 60-70, light breezes, and clear skies. This weekend we broiled under 80-degree skies, and then shivered in cold rain. Yesterday morning I woke to a pall of fog. More rain flooded soaked grounds today, but then blew away on afternoon breezes leaving a threat of frost in its wake. Continue reading