Kittson County Skies – Twelve Nights of Lights

If you happened to miss my posts from my Kittson County Skies Facebook Page here’s a fun little recap.  I shared a never-before-seen photo every day for the first 12 days of December, going through the archives to find images I missed sharing before.  This was also a little plug to remind people to purchase their calendars before the shipping costs went up (to arrive by Christmas).  You can still order a calendar online here, although you may have to pay more for shipping to arrive by Christmas, if you live local you can contact me directly to get a calendar.  Keep in mind a calendar can be a great gift even for New Years!

In no particular order, here are some fun images I shared and a few details.

COMBINES UNDER THE LIGHTS::  Captured in August of 2017, this was one of those perfectly quiet late summer nights that the Aurora snuck up on me.  I happened to check the data right before going to bed and didn’t see much, but when woke up after midnight and saw there was some action.  I remember being kind of tired this night (who, me!?) so I just drove across to our shop where my husband’s combines were parked so I didn’t have to travel too far.  It turned out to be a good decision!

BEST NIGHT EVER::  The end of May this past year, I experienced one of the best nights I had ever seen.  They sky was filled with dancing, moving, swirling lights that proved we can see just as incredible lights here as someone could see by traveling to Iceland or Alaska.  This particular photo was just east of Humboldt, MN.

HAY BALES::  This photo was taken the same night as the above photo.  I had hours of fun taking pictures at multiple locations, which was great to fill up my portfolio!

OPTICAL ILLUSION:: An early photograph taken years before I even knew what I was doing!  The benefit of not having a tripod yet meant I had to get creative, and set my camera down on the sidewalk.  This created a unique perspective that looked like mountains of ice!

NOBODY’S HOME:: One of my most favorite things to do is light painting, especially old buildings.  Light painting is the art of lighting certain areas of the scene during a long exposure photograph.  You can use anything to light paint, a flashlight, lantern, or my personal favorite–a cell phone light!  I love the look it creates and how you can give the illusion that a long abandoned home has electricity again.

A SWING WITH A VIEW:: This is a location on our farm where I actually take a lot of “daytime” portrait sessions.  I love tree swings (as you can probably tell by now!) and I had always wanted to try and capture it during a night sky shoot.  I love the reflection on the ice!

BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY:: Some nights the lights in the sky are moving so quickly they create unique shapes like this one.

LIGHTS OVER HALLOCK:: My hometown in the distance shows how tiny our town is, and how huge the aurora is, and the unique perspective of the power line.

FRONT DOOR VIEW:: Pretty much the proof of why I can do what I do.  All I have to do is peek out the front door of our house to see if the lights are out or not!

SILENCE::  The 1905 St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church is less than a mile from the Canadian border, in one of the darkest areas of Kittson County. It’s a perfectly peaceful place and offers such incredible beauty in the view of the night sky. I photographed here in early 2016, and recently came across this photo I hadn’t yet processed. I love how you can see my footprints in the snow showing the only signs of life that had been there in quite some time.

THIS WAY TO THE AURORA:: I just loved the juxtaposition of the arrows following the quiet glow of the band of green on the horizon.

HOLY ROSARY CEMETARY:  Over a hundred years worth of Northern Lights have danced over these graves since this cemetery was established in rural Lancaster, MN around the year 1900. This particular evening was a powerful one, and this image I had almost forgotten about, but when I saw it again in the archives I knew I had to share it. What a beautiful and welcoming scene for all who rest here!

It was so fun to go back through all these photographs and find more to share.  In a single night of aurora chasing I typically take hundreds of photographs, simply trying to get ONE single image to share.  In that process there were so many pictures that I had forgotten about.  Doing this little project pushed me to go back in my archives and take a second look.  I realized how much more I have to share, and better yet–how much more of Kittson County I still have left to photograph!

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  1. Vicki Volker says:


  2. Heidi says:

    These photos are stunning!

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