The aurora will be out in full this week.
How do I know? There is this website I basically check all the time, which give a forecast for how the northern lights will be, on a scale of 1-10. Usually anything above a 4 is awesome. I have only seen a rating of 6/10 and I think that was once in November. Here is the website if you are interested: http://astronomynorth.com/aurora-forecast/
I am thinking of making the drive out to Dog Beach where the viewing is best, sometime this week.
I have referred to Dog Beach a few times on here, haven’t I? Well where we live, we are right on the southern edge of the Great Slave Lake. According to the all-knowledgeable Wikipedia, the Great Slave Lake is the deepest Lake in North America and it covers an area of 27,200 km2. So basically, its huge- which is something to say coming from a girl who grew up on the Great Lakes.
So anyways, you drive out to Dog Beach on Great Slave Lake anywhere from 8:00 pm-2:00 am and you park just down the road because you have to walk through some deep snow to get to the beach.
As you approach the beach, you walk past a man who lives in a homemade “camper” along the way, and you sit and talk to him. His name is Winter, and he is living off of the land. In his camper he has a small bed, a tiny stove which he uses for food and for heat, and a dog that is twice the size of you, named “Deeka” (which means wolf in South Slavey. That is not how it is spelled but sort of how it is pronounced). Winter is quite the character, we always stop and talk to him on our way to the beach to catch the Northern Lights, and on our way back to the car we stop at his fire to warm up. Can you imagine living, by yourself, in the Northwest Territories in a man-made camper in -40 degree weather? When it gets nice out, he moves from his wooden camper to a tent, where he can live closer to the shore. I’m planning on making him some bread or pasta sauce next time we walk past his place.
And to give you an idea of the size of his dog, we had the Missoula Children’s Theatre send two talented ladies up here named Annie and Stephanie, who in one week held auditions for a play for the kids in Hay River and had the performance on Friday. 5 days. Well they did it and it was a huge success, and I got to know them since I worked for the week with them as a ‘supervisor’. They really wanted to see the Northern Lights so we took them one night and they met Winter and Deeka. I’m sure they won’t mind me posting their picture on here so you can see the size of this polar bear-dog.
*I remember first meeting this dog. When we first went to Dog Beach to watch the Northern Lights this year, It was completely black outside, wolves or sled dogs (or something eerie-sounding) was howling pretty close by, and this insanely huge dog comes bounding, growling and breathing heavily towards us! I went into a freak out, curling up into a ball and covering my neck… Deeka wanted to meet us and play. Then he ran off.That was our first meeting…
I have seen the northern lights before, but I have never, ever seen anything like this. The lights up here are truly mind boggling. We have a friend up here named Adam who photographs the lights- his pictures are just absolutely amazing, as a side note. We ran into each other at Dog Beach one night as were all there to see the aurora. I asked if he wouldn’t mind taking a picture of Jeremy and I and he did. This wasn’t even a night where they were “insane” but the picture turned out pretty cool.
Maybe I’ll get a really nice camera of my own one day so I can try to take amazing pictures like this! (Note in the photograph the beaver mitts on my hands, if you have read my post two days ago!)
The forecast for the aurora shows about a 5/10 rating on a few nights this week. It’s a little cloudy out today, but it’s supposed to be a balmy -30 at night, so we will see what happens.