Living in Alaska, with my window by the sea, I mark the turning of the seasons. I never let a solstice or equinox pass without some observation, a bonfire or some other ritual. But seasons turn on their own times, not always in line with equinox or solstice. Spring came to Sitka in February this year with an early greening and no late frost. And fall came in the middle of August with the rains. But for me the turning from August to September has always, despite weather markers, meant the start of fall, the start of school, the start of the new “television season” back before I replaced my TV with a window by the sea. And this year it was not only school and TV that marked the turning of the months. Celestial fireworks marked he departure of August and the arrival of September!
August ended with one of those magic sunsets. The morning rains dried up over the course of the day and by 8 PM when the sun went down the clouds had gathered in a way to reflect and refract the setting sun for outstanding August curtain call.
But the death of August and the birth September had more in store for us. Beginning at around 10 PM, when it was became dark enough to see the stars, the Aurora came out in a full out display that shot us into September.
It is rare to be able to see the aurora without having on a warm coat, gloves and boots, in the summer it is to light and in the fall too cloudy. But last night all I needed was a light jacket. And Aurora came to the party early. Normally I have to set an alarm for one or two in the morning to get a good look, but yesterday as the last of the daylight faded, there they were. We had full two hour show before midnight, and there was a curtain call for those who wanted to stay up past two. Sometimes the seasons turn slowly. You slide from one to the other. This fall announced itself with a double billed light show.
Two nights letter the light show was even better.