Aurora hunting, in either hemisphere

We were tasked with visiting and commenting on previously unknown blogs as part of the zerotohero challenge day 11.

I typed in one word to see where it lead me, and in the 24 hours since I’ve ‘chatted’ with three new bloggers. All three had totally different posts sharing the same tag.

I arrived at Two Clowns Tripping where the author (Andrew) described how he spent his time waiting (almost in vain) for the aurora australis to show up. At the end of his post he asked for feedback on our favourite photo. This is the comment I left on his post.

The barnacles, followed by the silhouettes. Nice you could see the aurora. Unfortunately we’ve had too much cloud cover in Helsinki to see anything. It’s a real shame, as we don’t get to see them so far south very often. Excellent shots!

If you follow the ping-back, you’ll see that we continued the conversation a little. Andrew presumed that because I was so far north, that the aurorae would be a common sight, even in Helsinki. In the 12 or so years of living in Finland, I’ve seen aurorae once! Even then, I initially thought that it was one of those big spot lights shining in the sky. I missed one of the better shows in 2013. It was the end of a really hectic day and I’d crashed. I woke up to see comments from just about all of my Helsinki friends oohing and ahhing over the great show!

It seems that in Finland, to see aurora borealis at its’ best you have to travel north. There are plenty of websites and groups that post regularly when there is an increased likelihood of aurora activity. Due to the geomagnetic storm activity last week, we were promised the likelihood of aurorae in the south. Promising the likelihood of something is very vague! Due to heavy cloud cover we didn’t get to see any aurorae. Instead all that heavy cloud cover delivered long overdue snow. Can’t win them all now, can we.

Growing up in Tasmania, we saw aurora australis fairly frequently. At least to memory, it feels frequent. While I know time and age play tricks on the memory, I know that I’ve seen more aurorae in Tasmania than Finland.

Why is that though? Where I grew up in Tasmania is approximately 43 degrees south, where I live in Helsinki is 60 degrees north. You would think Finland would be the better bet. Especially as they say that activity is most likely to be seen in the auroral zones (in other words, quite close to the magnetic poles). Even to see as far south as Helsinki, on the 60th parallel is quite rare.

I’m not even going to try to figure it out, although it is feasible that aurorae are quite possibly more common in the southern part of Finland than we realise. Perhaps there is too much light pollution, the cloud cover is too heavy or I don’t get out often enough on cold dark evenings. All are equally plausible in my book!

In the meantime, there is a new blog for me (and my followers) to check out. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Another layer exposed.

Image

I LOVE Instagram!!! There, I said it. I’m not ashamed to admit it. If you follow me on Twitter or FourSquare no doubt you’ve seen some of my posts there.

When I recently returned to the mothership that is Nokia it was the only app that wasn’t available. I could have taken the route that Mr. 14 took at the same time and continue posting via WiFi. Except that meant either lugging both phones around or moving photos from one to another. That’s far too much work. So I waited, and as they say all “good things come to those who wait”. Late last year Instagram became available for Lumia / Windows and immediately I downloaded the app!

I decided that it would be nice to have a theme. If you look at the early pictures there are all sorts of things – food, dogs, boats and with all sorts of different filters. Currently I’m focusing on lights, and one particular filter X-Pro II. When I look at it on the phone, they look fine – now on the big screen I’m not so sure πŸ˜‰

Back to the Zero to Hero challenge, and a post that includes a new element. Today you get two for the price of one! I’ve added the Instagram follow button, if all goes to plan it will be at the top of the right hand side widget column! For my embedded contribution, I’ve gone back to my very first ‘testing’ shot. From memory I went to the back yard and found a plant that had been planted by my neighbour:

View this post on Instagram

Testing

A post shared by Heather Domeney (@kanerva66) on

Feel free to check out my other offerings πŸ™‚

Back to basics.

Or catching up with the first 4 days of the zero to hero challenge.

Regular visitors here may have noticed my blogging action has been very thin on the ground lately. My mojo fizzled out and no matter how much I tried, it just wasn’t to be found. (You should the drafts folder – full of discarded posts!) Not only that, I wasn’t even visiting my favourite blogs often enough. Then this challenge arrived in my inbox last week and that little spark was lit. One of my other blogs has been very troublesome for me, so I decided to start over there. The first post was quickly followed by a couple of changes and another post and just like that it all feels normal. So without further fuss and carry on here are challenges 1, 2 and 3 all rolled into one!

Day 1: Who am I and why am I here?

I’ve read some really great who am I posts in the last few days. In the context of this blog, I’m a Tasmanian who has been living in Finland for the last 13 or so years. I’m also a small business owner, a mum, a volunteer. If you ask my son (Mr. 14) I’m a tyrant who always says no (not true). If you ask my husband (The Engineer) he might tell you I’m a great cook although my housekeeping skills leave a bit to be desired. If you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I haven’t changed a bit and am way too generous for my own good. If Perry (our dog) could talk he’d say I’m the mean one that showers him but I also let him run off the leash whenever possible. I try to blog on the curiosity that is living in Finland. My first few years were spent getting the hang of it all. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes downright frustrating. Now I just want to share my life in Finland with you. Sometimes I get a bit serious, although for the most part my style is pretty relaxed and laid back.

DAY 2: WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

My URL is Tasmanialainen which is the Finnish way to say ‘someone from Tasmania’, while the word “Taswegian” in the title is what we Tasmanians call ourselves. I’m not going to change the title – it says exactly who I am. However the tag will be tweaked from “10 years on…my life in Suomi – the land of sauna, salmiakki and sinappi”Β to say “There’s more to living in Finland than Angry Birds, Marimekko and Nokia…” Check out the “In a nutshell” and you’ll see a very brief summary of what this blog is all about.

DAY 3: WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

My first post is here and it’s funny reading it again after all this time. It says absolutely nothing about who I am or what I was hoping to gain from being a blogger. So two years and 148 posts later I’m happy to say that overall the blogging sphere has been pretty good. Even though I didn’t state my goals early in the piece, I’ve built a nice following. I try and interact with everyone that drops by, even if it’s just to pop over, have a look and say hello. Hopefully the next two years will continue along the same lines.

DAY 4: EXPLORE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Over the past two years I’ve added blogs to my reader, deleted them, changed the publishing status from daily to instant to weekly to never, and then back again. My reader list currently has 104 blogs. It’s probably time to go through the list again! My blog roll over on the left also needs some work. If you click on one of the links and it doesn’t work please let me know! I do have to share this blog though: Identity. Last year a lively lass from the US who was living in Sweden liked my blog. I waved back and started following her blog. All I can say is that Regan’s life quickly turned topsy-turvy. At some point it became obvious that Regan wasn’t who she said she was and her life was as much fiction as fact. Still the faithful followers kept commenting all the way to the climatic end. What an ending it was. Today came the first episode of a new series, a real cliff-hanger and already the fans are lining up. Come along and join us!

Now I’m all caught up! See you tomorrow for day 5 πŸ™‚