Mission accomplished. We have seen the Northern Lights.

Late this evening we went for a short and relatively easy trek from the hotel, following a path up the hill through the coniferous forest to an opening in a slight depression, an ideal spot for viewing the aurora if it did appear, clear of light pollution (although you don't have to move far from habitation here to get away from light pollution).  On the way up our guide pointed out some fairly weak lights, but they became stronger and more variable and interesting as we reached the top, and we were treated to a wonderful display of changing patterns and intensity.

As I expected, the colours visible to the naked eye were relatively weak (although I am assured that there are occasions when, even to the naked eye, much stronger colours can be seen).  The camera, however, with a relatively long exposure, can record colours which the eye is too insensitive to pick up.  It is the greens which are usually the strongest, as here.

Several others in the group attempted to photograph the lights (at least one using his flash - I despair). However, there were only one or two other photographers with tripods, and several of those around me were amazed at the images I captured - wanting to photograph the screen on the back of my camera with their phones (to show their Mum!).

So we have achieved the main objective of this short break - something which was never certain.  Apparently the lights did show through the clouds late last night, but by that time we were in bed, preparing for an early start in the morning.  We knew we would be leaving the hotel at 8am in order to learn to drive a husky pulled sled through the forest and across a frozen lake.  That was great fun:  the dogs are very strong and extremely eager to pull the sleds, all apparently wanting to be in the lead.  "Driving" proved to be pretty straightforward: the dogs knew where to go and all I had to do was stay on the back and apply brakes when necessary.

A day of memorable highlights.

(Probably looks better large on a black background)

[Back-blipped after our return because the internet speeds at our hotel were far to slow to support uploading a photograph.]

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