There is quite a story around this shot but I forget what it is.
Many of you will remember the Snowpocalypse of 2012. I remember leaving work that evening and by the time I got home there was nearly six inches of snow on the ground. Three hours later the power went out and three hours after that I heard what sounded like a large displacement bomb going off in my living room when, in fact, it was nothing more serious than a large chunk of my neighbors tree falling onto my car. Fortunately, by then, there was a foot of heavy wet snow on the car and as a result the tree didn't do much damage to the car but it was so large that getting into the car was impossible.
Not that I was going anywhere.
The next morning I went outside to survey the damage and was amazed at the sounds I was hearing. All through the neighborhood and the surrounding forest was the unmistakable and unnerving sound of tree limbs cracking, breaking, falling, and then hitting the ground with a soft thud. The regularity of it was what surprised me, as if it was raining trees. Amazed at the amount of snowfall we got in a short time I retreated back into the house and heated some water on the stove. The water was from a jug and the stove was gas and still had the pilot light going so at the very least I could have some coffee. No worries, they'll have the power on in no time and the plows will be by any minute now...
The day turned to night and though I had a stove pilot light, without power the furnace, of course, was not working. When I got home on Friday night it was 68 F inside, 24 hours later it was 58 F and I was starting to get a bit worried.
I woke up on Sunday to a house with a temperature in the mid 40's and started to get concerned and, in the back of my mind, made an inventory of things I could burn in order to keep warm. One more night of this and, well, I didn't want to think about it too much.
I know, I thought to myself, I'll go out and start breaking branches of that giant tangled tree mess and before long I'll be able to get in the car, start it up and get warm. I wouldn't be going anywhere since the plows had not made it to the middle of nowhere yet but at least I could get warm.
Five minutes later I grabbed a branch more suited for a chainsaw than my arm and promptly broke my wrist. I've never broken my wrist before but I've had broken bones and I knew it was broken. Fighting through the pain, I did manage to get into the car and get warmed up and later that afternoon the plows did make it through, partially. Besides the plows, a neighbor also showed up with a chainsaw and a propane heater so the car was now free and the house would soon be out of the low 40 F range.
I drove myself to the emergency room, cringing every time I had to shift gears--I broke my right wrist--but I made it just fine and they took some X-rays and, sure enough, the wrist was broken.
They put a temporary splint on and sent me on my way.
It was a typical break, six weeks with a cast then four weeks of rehab and, according to the doctor, I would be good as new.
It wasn't long into the rehab that I figured out how to manipulate the camera and tripod--I still had to wear a splint--and though I was clumsy with it, I figured if anything interesting presented itself I would be able to stumble through it and maybe, at the very least, get the lens cap off.
About midway through the rehab the alerts came over the interwebs that a solar event had taken place and we might be getting a decent aurora show. I was skeptical as usual, but even more so as doing anything but taking naps with a sore hand (rehab hurts!) and clumsy splint was not very appealing to me. What the heck, I got out and headed over to the Wolverine power station in Lake Ann around 12:30 AM and setup shop.
To put it mildly, I was not disappointed. The only show I've seen as good as that one was the one that we saw this past summer. Strong pillars of light and aurora streaking overhead on a near nonstop basis and this and that and the other thing Holy Cow it was awesome! I had the camera setup and the settings dialed in pretty good and only moved a couple of times and must have taken 200 shots in a two hour period. The most painful part of the night was the fact that I had a doctors appointment at 8:00 AM the next morning and it was about an hours drive away. I simply had to leave and one thing nobody likes to do is walk away from an aurora show when they are blazing away but I simply had to go, I needed at least fifteen minutes of sleep!
By the time I got home and downloaded the images from the memory card to the PC and looked through a lot of them it was pushing 4:30 AM and of course I was too keyed up to sleep much but I did get about an hour and a half worth in, just enough to stay awake during the hour long drive to the doctor appointment.
This particular image was during a quiet time in the show but even so there is a nice pillar there and no doubt as to what is going on in the crisp clear sky above the Wolverine station.