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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

South Dakota Aurora

By 2015 I'd been in South Dakota for 22 years, and I had never seen an aurora in my life.  I've gone out a few times to try, particularly in recent years.  With phone apps that alert you to favorable conditions, it's less of a guessing game, but even when there's a "strong" solar storm globally, it usually isn't seen as far south as South Dakota. 

In September 2015, a bit of serendipity.  I was getting up extremely early to head west, to a day of birding in the central part of the state.  I got up at 4:00, and as I was eating breakfast I looked at my phone and it said there was as "strong" solar storm globally.  Yeah, sure I thought.  I did finish eating, grabbed my stuff,  and headed out.  Lo-and-behold, there actually WAS an aurora visible.  This far south, it wasn't the shimmering, moving curtain of light you see in photos and video, but it was still a beautiful treat.

South Dakota Aurora 

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