Nothing Better than the Northern Lights.


I live in the wrong part of the country, well actually I live in the wrong country entirely, but for now we shall go with I live in the wrong part of the country. Did you see what happened Tuesday night? In Scotland, Cumbria, Wales & even Gloucestershire? Yep, you've got it the Northern Lights were doing a dance

And where was I? 



But seriously. We all know how obsessed I am with the Northern Lights. Yes, yes, I have been very lucky to have seen them as often as I did in Lapland, but still. I don't think I will ever get enough of seeing them. I don't think I'll ever be that person who is jaded by them (*coughs not like my boyfriend *coughs*). I just adore them, whether it's a thin green stripe hanging lazily in the sky, or the odd splodge appearing as I walked home in the evening, or a full on dancing display that makes you stop in your tracks and stare skyward. Or best yet, when you're laid in bed, in your north facing apartment and see lots of flashes through the curtain, and you know you can open them and lay in a nice warm bed watching the display thru your window- oh yeah, that was us, we lived in the best place ever!

Like many of my other obsessions, my obsession with the Northern Lights comes from a book, well a series, yes it is from His Dark Materials. A series I loved so much, I even went and hunted down Will & Lyra's bench. Lord Asriel has travelled North, as far North as you can go to investigate "a certain natural phenomenon only seen in the lands of the North". This is where he'd discovered Dust, and how the Aurora could be used to travel from one realm to another. Ever since reading it, I've always imagined that those green veils streaming and dancing through the sky could well be carrying someone, somehow off to another realm. 

Of course, the reality is equally fascinating. The Northern Lights are caused by the sun's particle's hitting solar winds which energises them. The speed at which they hit depends on their visibility and if there is magnetic contact, that is what causes the lights to dance. The reason you can see them in both the North and South, (Aurora Australis, is the name given for the Southern Lights) is because of the magnetic field surrounding the earth, and it draws them in and out looking like a butterfly from space.

Seeing the Northern Lights for the first time in Iceland was spectacular, it's like watching magic happen in the sky. Even altho' now I know they can be more spectacular than the display I saw in Iceland back in October, after seeing some incredible skies in Lapland, dancing greens and purples across the sky above our office one night was the most spectacular I've seen by far. Spotting them across the sky when you've got 60 odd people with you is always spectacular as you shout out to look up and watch unsuspecting day tripper's see them in the sky for the first time. 

The first time I spotted them in Lapland was only a couple of days in. My housemates and I were walking home from work, again, and we'd just crossed the bridge that's the Swedish/ Finnish border when I noticed a slight green tinge in the sky. I shouted to them, just ahead of me and the bounced around excitedly. We ran to the end of the bridge to get away from as much of the artificial light as possible, before sliding down the bank by the church onto the frozen river's bank. The snow easily thigh deep down there, we waded across. Jen trying to take photo's with her phone, and achieving it. We more or less ran the rest of the way home, hoping to see them in the back garden.

The reason for Tuesday night's spectacular display, there was a severe geomagnetic storm, it was actually only a notch below the highest category for a solar storm. This caused all those lucky people in Cumbria, Scotland, Wales & Gloucestershire to catch those spectacular lights dazzling in sky. They were also on display as far south as New York state. I just hope I'm lucky enough to see them again...

Have you witnessed the Northern (or Southern) Lights? Did you love it as much as I do?


  1. I've never seen them -It's top of my list!! So any is better than none, in my book!

  2. I've not seen them but they're on my list - a friend of mine is in Iceland this week and saw them on his first night, knowing my luck they'd take a holiday the week I go looking for them! But that's not going to stop me trying, eventually! #weekendwanderlust

  3. I have never seen them, but it is at the top of my bucket list. I am in Ireland now, but I was in Scotland and Wales. What are the chances of me seeing them there? I must of missed them because I wasn't looking! I am heading through Iceland on my way home later this month and hope desperately to sneak a look. Any tips?

  4. Not yet! But there is still time. They are quite an amazing sight. Lucky you!

  5. OMG the northern lights were in Scotland!! I always seem to miss them lol it's the highest thing on my bucket list to see, but I'm always in a destination a day before or after! I lived in Tasmania, Australia for the first 14 years of my life which is one of the only places you can see the Southern lights and nothing either. Let's hope my luck will change soon!!!

  6. Lucky you !! :) I would love to experience a moment like this - something so magical and special!

  7. I totally understand your obsession - I'm really obsessed with them, too. I've only seen them once but I would love to see them many more times throughout my life! I can't believe they were as south as New York State! WHAT! I didn't see them that night :( Oh well!

  8. The Northern Lights are one of Nature's most fascinating gifts!!! I love them!

    -Raphael Alexander Zoren

  9. Hi Sammi, I wish I'd been up in Islay, Scotland where my family live now. :( I grew up in Dorset! What are you doing there?

  10. I kind of saw northern lights very long time ago in Vermont, but it was barely visible. The photos from Europe I've seen make me jealous. Apparently the lights were visible as far south as Poland, where you could never see northern lights normally. Lucky Europeans! I love your photos. I hope some day I'll see a spectacular display like that.

  11. I haven't had a chance to see them yet, but I really want to!! We are traveling right now, but just last week you could see them near our hometown...I'm so bummed we missed it!! I can see where it would be something you could never get enough of!


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