Bolt to the Butte

One look at the data this evening, and I knew I had to get out with my camera for once. I’ve done the responsible grownup thing over and over again when these things happen on a weeknight, but I’d actually taken a bit of a dad nap this evening so I felt fresh. Out we went, my youngest boy joining me.

I had a spot in mind, but it was too far of a driving considering the time. Instead we zipped over to Solberg Butte, which isn’t far from us at all, and set up shop.

At first there were some pretty wild, sharp shapes whipping around. These would soften quickly into broad, shimmering patches in the sky. I caught a little bit of it before the transition.

It wasn’t long before the colors began to rush toward a vortex just over our heads, and also above Solberg Butte. This was actually facing southeast, which demonstrates how great a lightshow we experienced.

Then it was time to do the responsible thing and get home for bed. Why can’t these things happen on a Friday night? Perhaps they will. I’m just glad I got my sorry butt out with my camera for once. It’s been a long, dreary winter, and I needed something like this.

I did manage to break a little piece in the pivot of one of my tripod’s legs tonight, which turned it into a $60 night. Thankfully, even though it’s a nearly twenty year old Italian tripod, I was able to get parts – and at a decent price, at that. The shipping was so much I ordered two. I like spares.

Let’s hope we have many more nights like this one – albeit warmer, and on weekends – in 2023 as the sun is in an active cycle!

2 thoughts on “Bolt to the Butte

  1. I moved to Bismarck recently and I’ve been looking for a good spot to watch the Northern Lights and do some photography of it. Thank you for sharing the spot, I was thinking about driving towards the Wilton area, hopefully I catch another light show pretty soon. but with this weather lately, it’s been tough to get out there.

    • The problem with heading straight north is that stupid wind farm. Those things are the bane of any photographer. The row of red lights spoils the bottom of your photo, and the light pollution doesn’t help, either. For now, your best bet is heading northeast.

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