When I arrived at work this morning the temperature was 23 below zero; 47 below zero with the wind chill factor. It was a gorgeous morning and a cloud free sky with a moon that looked like a Halloween advertisement, except that it wasn't full.
Driving in, from the side, I saw an odd cloud and instantly realized that it wasn't a cloud at all, but auroral activity. So, I pulled into a parking lot and watched while this long tendril of pale green light arched and undulated and slithered across the northern sky like a snake covered with feathers. It lasted about 5 minutes before the sky lightened enough that I could no longer see it.
Graded 1 to 10 on the spectacular scale, it was probably about a .4 - but still, it was the Northern Lights and the first I've seen. The chance that I will see it again before next winter is about zero. I suppose it's like me counting that I've been in Washington state (I don't) even though I've only really been in SeaTac Airport about 20 times and never anywhere else.
We are already at about 13 hours of daylight and we get about 9 more minutes each day, or about an hour more daylight every week. When I return from my next R and R, I will be driving to and from work in the daylight. Right now it is still mostly dark on my drive in, but light for my entire drive home.
It is steadily warming; with the temps usually hanging around 10 below; on days that it warms more, there is usually snow and often, wind too. I am surprised at how little the cold bothers me. I really thought I would have a hard time making it through the winter, but, as I always say: "It's not that bad!" Strange as it may seem, when it is 50 degrees at home, I am freezing!
From the Arctic Circle............I remain, Deadhorse Connie