Chasing the Northern Lights in New England

Photo credits to Colette.
Sunday night we went out at 11 p.m. in search of the Northern Lights, which were supposed to be visible to most of New England. We drove about a mile to a lofty lookout point in our town and parked by an historic home, with about half a dozen or so other cars filled with other townspeople who had the same idea, and turned off all the lights and let our eyes adjust to the country darkness and the night sky. And we sat. And we waited. And we peered. Periodically, another car would drive past, or stop, and then lose patience and drive away. Finally, about 12:15, Hubby lost patience and started the car up, weirdly resulting in our car burglar alarm blaring out into the quiet night. Since we live in a town where you would hardly even have to lock your car, setting an alarm would be ridiculous, and waking everyone up with it is just flat out rude. But at 12:15, it struck us as funny, and we drove off with Colette and I tittering. In one last ditch effort, Hubby drove to an old farm whose hay fields are bisected by a dirt road. He stopped at the crest of the hill, and we turned off all the lights again. Lots of stars above us, but no Northern Lights. In the hay field to the right were a couple of people waiting too. One had a flashlight, and the other had a flickering flame of some kind (lantern with candle? kerosene lantern?). The sight of a candle bobbing in the darkness of midnight in the middle of a hay field is a beautiful thing, I must say! Also a bit eerie to know you're not out there alone. I wondered what wild animal might wander past. Colette got out of the car and set up the tripod to take some time exposure shots of the night sky. Safely protected inside the car from the tens of millions of insects outside the car, Hubby and I watched the lightning bugs dance in the hay fields until one came straight up the road toward us and dived at Colette, sending her lurching as she let out a shriek. Then just to freak her out more, through the closed car windows we hollered, "Children of the Corn!" She hollered back that there were lots of bats out there. Ugh. *shudder* The clouds rolled in. And at 1 a.m., we gave up on the idea and went back home. The elusive Northern Lights...

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