The early morning of September 8th was amazing and so unexpected. The space data had been teasing all evening and at midnight when I checked the data it showed some potential, but by no means imminent, so off to sleep for me. I awoke at 1:30am and just got a strong feeling I should look out the window. Nothing seemed to indicate that it was worth taking any test shots and I was barely awake. I didn’t see any green or tell-tale wisps with the naked eye, and very nearly went back to bed – except that the constellation Gemini grabbed my attention. Now somewhat alert but not inclined to head outside, I popped the screen on the bathroom and tried to image the constellation from there – which had disastrous results (not surprisingly). However, I did notice a very faint green to the north and that in every subsequent snap, the green was getting more and more pronounced. That was all I needed. I was now wide awake, throwing on clothes, herding cats to a room so they couldn’t escape during my maneuvers, and headed onto my deck with my gear. The Lady was truly dancing and the sky was beginning to explode. Decisions had to be made…do I stay or do I head down the road for a clear horizon? As she was pretty much overhead and often blows out just as fast as she came in, I decided to stay put in my yard. The sky just simply went nuts. In all the times this has happened, I still cannot find adequate words to describe it. Pictures don’t even come close – so much movement in the sky! Finally I threw my gear into the car and went as far as the local fishpond by which time she devolved into a huge sheet of colour. In that photo you can see a clear delineation between the aurora and the night sky…you would think this light would spill everywhere and light up the entire sky…but no, it’s almost like the Aurora hit an invisible wall. It was after 3:30 am, something was rustling in the bushes, and my nerve left me. I headed back to the house where I stood once more on my deck watching the last of the dance play out directly over my head. I figured she was not finished for the night and would likely power up again, but my bed beckoned. A few times during this process I was miffed at myself for not heading directly for a horizon – surely my neighbourhood and street lights and building would not have been an attractive component to my shots and would not do the Lady any justice. Later, when I downloaded my photos, this thought was disproved. The urbane backdrop added a wonderful perspective to the aurora. It helped to anchor the immenseness of the aurora better than any wide angle horizon shot. As always I am in awe of Mother Nature and no matter how many times I experience the Aurora in all her myriad presentations, I never tire of the dance. The energy and adrenaline that never fails to course through me after these events helps to get me through the day after a sleepless night, but I’m still grateful this night was followed by a day off…whew!