It was quite a show last night. The aurora covered the northern sky, east to west, and reached up overhead. For about 15 minutes around 11:15pm, it looked like the videos you see that are shot up in the north: bright, sharp, and frenetic.
The image at the top is a panorama, 6 photos, stretching just about 180° from west to east.
Some of the photos in the gallery below were taken literally 2–5 seconds apart.
It was the best show I’ve seen in decades, and here’s to more active shows in the months and years to come.
Nerdy details: all images were 11mm, f/2.8. Exposure times varied between 1 and 5 seconds. ISO was either 1600 or 3200.
A young woman has vanished. Her neighbour Maite is looking for her because she’s not willing to feed her cat forever. A possibly CIA-funded gangster, El Elvis, is looking for her too, for somewhat darker reasons.
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a mystery novel, a slow-burn noir set in Mexico City in the 1970s. It’s funny, tragic, startling, and violent. It’s full of comics and Elvis and unrest. It’s terrifying at times, sad at other times, and full of characters you root for and against, even if you’re not really sure you’d want to meet them.
I thought it was great, and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Read more Zero History—I think I’m just about halfway through now
Went for a bike ride—not a long one, but I climbed a lot of hills and got a few photos
Watched a few more Firefly episodes
I decided that, even though the sky was clear, I’d stay in and not keep myself awake past 2 am again. I was in bed reading by 11 and asleep before midnight, and I think that was the right decision.
And now I’m going to start packing up the cabin. My time here draws short. As always, I’m feeling conflicting emotions: I’ll be happy to be home, but I’d love another week doing this kind of thing too.
Worked some more on “The Slow Apocalypse” (minor edits in several sections, and a new chapter in the “What we will lose the fire” sequence, excerpted below)
Also worked on the “Praise the Torch” outline—I feel like I’m getting close to endgame, but I keep going back and adding things in so they’ll pay off later
Watched a truck try to maneuver a new cabin into the cabin area (eventually they did it, though they had to trim a couple evergreens back)
Drove back out to Spruces for some more Milky Way photos (it was calmer, and I got to listen to the waves on the shore and the occasional loon)
Jane had fallen asleep. No, that was too gentle a term for it. Jane had collapsed into unconsciousness, and soft snores, well-earned, came from her bed. Night had fallen, outside, and Mímir paced slowly back and forth in front of the window, looking out onto a view of parked cars under a light dusting of snow, six stories below, the lot illuminated by great lights, bright white fringed in violet, on tall, thin metal poles. The boy slept against his shoulder, wrapped in a white-and-blue hospital sheet of napped cotton fleece.
Mímir wondered what his dreams might be, if they would even make sense to anyone not a newborn.
From “The Slow Apocalypse”
The two images above were taken with my 50mm lens, which results in a much tighter shot than the 11–14mm that I usually use for night photography. Both the images above are composites; the one with the trees is 2 shots merged into one (you can probably see the seam), and the other is a stack of 6 images, manually merged, to try to bring out the detail in a segment of the galaxy.
The image at the top is one of about 200, the only one where I caught a Perseid meteor in the frame. (I did see quite a few last night, about a dozen or so, including three very bright ones. I think the one in the photo is one of the earlier ones, and I remember thinking after it had burned up, I hope I got that on camera.)