"A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders." -Lord Dunzany

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Evensong for the Fjord

I am crazy busy!

Therefore I have a question for your readers: Would you rather have me post photos without all the texts and explanations (which takes a lot of time to write), rather than no photo at all?

Here is one from yesterday! Please enjoy! And you make med extremely happy every time you hit the Like-button!

Evensong for The Fjord

Evensong for The Fjord – this is how dark it gets here in the Arctic Region of Narvik right now. Photo taken on May 19. 2013 at 11:34 pm


17 of May – Norwegian Constitution Day

Flag of Norway IMG_3802

The Norwegian Flag is seen everywhere in Norway and even Norwegians abroad wave the flag on the 17 of May

Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

Historical background

17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg

17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925). Note that the flag does not have the Union badge of Norway and Sweden, the so-called sildesalaten (Herring salad).

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation.

The celebration of this day began spontaneously among students and others from early on. However, Norway was at that time under Swedish rule (following the Convention of Moss in August 1814) and for some years the King of Sweden and Norway was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a couple of years in the 1820s, King Karl Johan actually forbade it, as he thought the celebrations a kind of protest and disregard—even revolt—against Swedish sovereignty. The king’s attitude changed slightly after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the king had to allow it. It was, however, not until 1833, that anyone ventured to hold a public address on behalf of the day. That year, official celebration was initiated by the monument of the late politician Christian Krohg, known to have stopped the king from gaining too much personal power. The address was held by Henrik Wergeland, thoroughly witnessed and accounted for by a Swedish spy, sent by the king himself.

After 1864 the day became more established when the first children’s parade was launched in Christiania, at first consisting only of boys. This initiative was taken by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, although Wergeland made the first known children’s parade at Eidsvoll around 1820. It was only in 1899 that girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.

By historical coincidence, the Second World War ended in Norway nine days before that year’s Constitution Day, on May 8, 1945, when the occupying German forces surrendered. Even if The Liberation Day is an official flag day in Norway, the day is not an official holiday and is not broadly celebrated. Instead a new and broader meaning has been added to the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.

The day focused originally on the Norwegian constitution, but after 1905, the focus has been directed also towards the royal family.

Read more about the 17 of May here: Wikipedia


Preparing for the 17th of May

I’ve met some nice people today. Especially Senior Advisor at Apple in Ireland Samantha and Netflix-supporter Audrey from Denver, Colorado, USA. Such nice people to speak/chat with. They make you feel right at home. Service minded and professionals and really astute at their field of work. It makes me no less than happy to meet people like that, so hello to Samantha and Audrey and a big thank you for all your kind help and great service!

The day today has otherwise stressing. It is the day before our constitution day – May 17. – so, along with a long list with pressing tasks on my to-do-list, we’ve shopped for tomorrow in the absolute frenzy today.

Just popped out to draw some fresh air and shoot a quick shot of the current weather today, but back to the last piece of work that needs wrapping up!

IMG_4030


Shooting Moose

That's close enough mate! Neighbor taking a close-up of the local moose

That’s close enough mate! Neighbor taking a close-up of the local moose

This young Moose (Alces alces) female is wandering around in the area, mostly trimming the wild tree buds – but occasionally also helping herself to some of the more exotic and delicious shrubs in the gardens around here. And she isn’t very much afraid. In fact, one of the neighbors came driving home today, but she wouldn’t move, so he had to park down by the road and take a detour to get up to his house. The other neighbor wanted to take a close up, and walked near enough for her to raise her leg in warning that he was close enough. One shouldn’t be afraid of these animals – but they demand to be respected and kept at a distance. A kick from the fore legs can easily be deadly. Usually they don’t attack, unless you startle them, come between a cow and her calves or are perceived as a challenge from one of the bulls during mating season.

The Norwegian female Moose is usually between 180 and 210 centimeters tall (shoulder height) and weighs between 200 and 400 kg. The bull is about 190 and 220 centimeters and weighs 200 to 600 kg.

Their fantastic ability to digest cellulose through an intricate system of bowl enzymes has been studied so that the same enzymes could be used to produce sustainable biofuels from wood.


Very Early Morning Light

The Midnight Sun is just around the corner. I shot this photo at 3:37 am (+1 DST) last night. The sun briefly dips below the horizon now – before it rises again. Soon it will be shining through the living room windows at midnight.

The Midnight Sun is not far away now

The Midnight Sun is not far away now


Sleepless in Narvik

I suffer from insomnia due to chronic pain. That is most times a disadvantage – but not always. Walking around at night trying to concentrate the pain away mentally sometimes make me grab my camera to find a moment of Photo Zen… A couple of nights ago I captured this photo of Narvik and the newly installed light-show on the new hotel downtown. I posted it in the local Facebook-group Narvik før og nå (Narvik in the past and now, loosely translated). It gained a quite surprising and enormous popularity, so I thought that would be a good cherry picked candidate for my blog. Here it is! Enjoy!

Sleepless in Narvik - The newly installed light show on the new hotel downtown reflects in the harbor basin.

Sleepless in Narvik – The newly installed light show on the new hotel downtown reflects in the harbor basin.


13,000 visitors by the start of 2013!

I rounded 13,000 visitors to this blog – and I celebrate by sharing another photo from New Years Eve. Enjoy!

Very early January 1. 2013

Very early January 1. 2013


Light – but no sun

This is a photo of the darkest day of the year in The Polar Night in Narvik. All though the sun is far from showing itself, we have a few hours in the middle of the day when the light is just Magical. The umber reflections of the sun below the horizon emanates the landscape and creates a special, dreamy warm light despite the cold up here.

All though we have no sun here in The Polar Night - the light is Magical!

All though we have no sun here in The Polar Night – the light is Magical! Narvik on the Winter solstice 2012


Still retaining “That ole Swiss Cheese Look”

I popped out a couple of days ago and captured this photo of our beloved companion in space. The old spellbinder and maker of romantic promises. The old natural satellite faithfully circling our home like a watch dog, gobbling up debris and preventing a lot of unpleasant collisions with Earth. This goddess Selene. Luna the treacherous – thought to have the power to turn people into luna-tics…

Whatever you wish to call her, she is beautiful, and still retaining “That ole Swiss Cheese Look”.

Full moon over Narvik

Full moon over Narvik


The waneing sun

The days are rapidly getting shorter. Geographically the sun should disappear on November 22. But because of the mountains, the sun disappears a few days earlier. Geographically the sun reappears the February 6., but again because of the mountains the actual observation of the sun is a few days later.

In between these dates it is dark here. Around Christmas it is just a faint dusky light around noon, the rest of the 22 hours of the day it is dark. Pitch dark – as in the middle of the night. It is the dark season. But this time of year makes it even more cozy with lights, especially candle lights. AND it is the season of Northern Lights! During summer, the midnight sun lights up the sky day and night, thus drowning the faint light from the Northern Light. In the winter-time it is the other way around!

Even now the sun is setting early. This photo of reflections in the snow-covered mountains from sunset was taken 15:58 today.

Reflections from the sunset on snow covered mountains today

Reflections from the sunset on snow-covered mountains today


Winter is here!

Winter is here. I defied my crippling back pain and went out to shoot a few photos. Enjoy!

Snow showers coming in the Ofoten Fjord - Eibhlin of Panama is being loaded at pier 5

Snow showers coming in the Ofoten Fjord – Eibhlin of Panama is being loaded at pier 5

A tiny waterfall on Ankenes freezing up

A tiny waterfall on Ankenes freezing up

Beisfjord and the mountain Beisfjordtøtta farthest away in between the snow showers

Beisfjord and the mountain Beisfjordtøtta farthest away in between the snow showers

The alpine slope on Ankenes needs a little bit more snow to be in service

The alpine slope on Ankenes needs a little bit more snow to be in service

 

 

 


Ofoten Fjord lit up by Northern Lights

This old and slow computer really needs changing now. Moore’s Law is very much in effect here. But I enjoy very much sharing my photos with you – and by the looks of it – you enjoy it to! Lesley Carter is one of my most avid readers. Her blog Bucket List Publication – lesleycarter.com is really nice – especially if you’re a viking roaming the seven seas (and the lands in between). So please check it out! And she is – according to her profile page – pregnant as well: so congrats and best wishes all around, Lesley!

This photo was taken from Ankens with view of the Ofoten Fjord and the mountain range Veggen (loosly translates to “The Wall”) in the background on October the 12. Enjoy!

Northern Lights lighting up The Ofoten Fjord with the mountain range Veggen in the background. October 12. 2012

Northern Lights lighting up The Ofoten Fjord with the mountain range Veggen in the background. October 12. 2012


25,000 visitors to my blog!!!

25,000 Visitors to my page!

Thank you all!

-That’s what blogging is all about!

25,000 visitors to my blog

25,000 visitors to my blog

Jeg har plassert min blogg i Narviknorske bloggkart!


A few picker uppers – Northern Lights shows

Quiet – but it’s there

It’s been very, very quiet on the Northern Lights front. The particle flow is very good. Now, I am not a physicist – but I have a fair share of knowledge in the field, having studied it and been a happy member of the Physics Club at The University of Tromsø (The Northern Lights Capital of Norway – a really fun city with lots of things to explore – I highly recommend it). In my humble opinion when the Solar Wind is at low speeds (right now ~500 km/s) – as it is right now, and the Geomagnetic Field component is neutral and the Dynamic pressure is low – even with a quite strong stream of charged particles from the Sun – all we get here is a “vail” of Northern Lights, but things changes fast. Sudden Solar Prominences can quickly change the conditions for Northern Lights.

2013 – A peak year

The solar activity in terms of Solar Prominences (also known as protuberanses) varies. These are known as Solar Cycles (or Magnetic Activity Cycles). They peak about every 11. year. 2013 is an estimated new peak. In correlations with this heightened activity, solar observatories register a rise in Sun Spots.

The photo below is taken in Ankenes the 15. – which was a pretty good day for shooting, but this faint “vail” captivated me enough to develop.

Faint Vail at 01:55 am above the Fagernes Mt.

Faint Vail at 01:55 am above the Fagernes Mt.


Report from last night – Tonight G1..!

I am crazy busy today – but I just popped by my blog to show my readers an example of last night activity. The Kp-index was steadily around five, which at these latitudes is high (northern lights activity normally starts at Kp 2/3. Tonight there is a geomagnetic storm coming with an estimated strength of G1 (the scale goes from G0 – no activity to G5 where all hell breaks loose and satellites gets their curcuitboards fried and powergrids here on Earth fails).

Unfortunately there were strong winds and quite a bit of rain and partly cloudy yesterday. But still the build up to the storm was quite obvious in between the clouds!

Strong Auroral Activity is seen in between the Clouds last night.

Strong Auroral Activity is seen in between the Clouds last night.


Fantastic aurora!

Standing there in the darkness – jumping up and down like a little kid at Christmas – and shouting -Yes! and Aaaah!, I probably look quite silly for a grown man, but every occasion like yesterday is exactly like Christmas to me! The Aurora borealis – Northern Light is so awe-inspiring that I wish all the japanese, Korean and Chinese tourist here in Norway could see it! They really are memories for a lifetime. Last night Kp-index was 3 (2 and above means chances to see northern lights at these latitudes). Today the Kp is even higher, at 5 – so I am soooo hoping for equally crisp, clear skies and even bigger lights!

I managed to get great many shots yesterday. And I had company. Danielle came down to the water with her boyfriend and I helped her getting into the fine techniques of shooting Northern Lights photographs.

And another bonus last night was the swarms of beautiful meteorites. I belive it must have been the orionides that should be passing just these days. Although my camera was pointed in the wrong directions, when I got home, I found that actually three of my photos had captured these beautiful sights. My head was obviously pointing in the wrong direction at these points, as I didn’t see them until I started flipping through the shots.

Well, here is a tiny fraction of last night’s phenomenal photo shoot. Enjoy!

Northern Lights stretching all the way form to the North of Narvik and all the way to the South-West above Vestfjorden. To the left Ankenes, and to the right Veggen and Forratangen. In the center Kjeldebotn.

Strong meteor (shooting star) between the lighthouse in Ankenes and aurora.

Strong meteor (shooting star) between the lighthouse in Ankenes and aurora.

Northern Lights above the Narvik peninsula last night

Danielle catching the last of the show

Northern Lights photographer Danielle catching the last of the show


Partly cloudy – but still a few nice in “the bag”

I was hoping for clear, crisp weather and maybe a combined northern lights shots and a meteor from the Draconids – wich is the hot topic in tonight’s sky. I saw three really nice shooting stars, but ales, didn’t capture them. I would probably have caught some more, if it wasn’t for the clouds. I caught a few nice though! It was really the AHHHH!-moment of my Northern Lights watching career – but it was nice anyway.

At one point I managed to do a long exposure of Widerøe’s Flight WF855 (Dash 8-100) from Narvik taking off from Narvik Airport at 1010 pm (GMT+1). Funny how the landing lights and strobes made a nice pattern across the beautiful moonlit scene.

Widerøe's (Wideroe) flight WF855 taking off from Narvik Lufthavn 22:10 local time. Ankenes Lighthouse in the foreground. Narvik City in the background.

Widerøe’s (Wideroe) flight WF855 taking off from Narvik Lufthavn/Airport at 22:10 local time. Ankenes Lighthouse in the foreground. Narvik City in the background.

Tonights Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) reflected in the Ofoten Fjord with a couple of iron ore bulk carriers at anchor waiting for service.

Tonights Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) reflected in the Ofoten Fjord with a couple of iron ore bulk carriers at anchor waiting for service.


All that is forbidden

Well, in this day and age where being insulted is a popular passtime and freedom of speech is under an equal duress as under Hitler’s Germany – wonder how long this shop – which forms the very entrance to the international area at Oslo Airport, Gardermoen – is allowed to sell alcohol before it is declared and insult to the new master race – or should I say master ideology..?

I observed the gardeners as they planted these beautiful “hanging gardens” with the most amazing plants and flowers earlier this summer. At a later visit I took the opportunity to take a few shots (with my camera, not from the contents of the shelves) of this architectural Pièce de résistance. And all the shelfs are actually made out of solid wood. A rarity in this politically correct IKEA-age. The ceiling of elegant lamps form waves of light resembling northern light, and the shapes of the shelf-modules draws your attention to the steep mountains in Norway.

This is really a masterpiece, and as you venture in through the shop, a small carving into the wood makes you go: -Ahh, but of course – Snøhetta – and their brilliant architects designed this sinful landscape in all it’s glory – and did an absolute excellent job at it! I would say traveling abroad from Norway via Gardermoen, will give you an excellent opportunity to study these lush gardens and ravishingly beautiful designs. In the mean time, feel free to enjoy my photos – and those of you who are insulted by this – go do something useful, like dig a hole in the sand.


The Winter Creeps up on us – or should I say down

Took this photo today of the Roasme Mountain range, and winter is just 1,000 meters away from us now. Soon we’ll be engulfed by the magic of snow..!

Winter is coming - the snow coveres mountain peaks gets whiter by the day

Winter is coming – the snow coveres mountain peaks gets whiter by the day


Silent Night by the Fjord

Shot this composite last night. The growth of forest here on Ankenes is tremendous, but not many seems to care. Thus just popping out to get a shot of the beautiful scenery gets harder and harder due to obstruction of trees.

Anyway, was about to go to bed, when very calm water in Narvik harbor basin lured me with its beautiful reflections to set up my tripod and take a few shots. Unfortunately, a lot of the view is now totally obscured by the trees growing ever bigger around here.

Panorama of a calm Narvik Harbor Basin (please, click on the picture to see the full size)

Panorama of a calm Narvik Harbor Basin (please, click on the picture to see the full size)


Second Day of Summer

14. April is – according to the ancient Norwegian calendars, Runic Calendars (primstav) the first day of summer. Hence today would be the second day of summer. As you can see, the fjord today is calm like on a beautiful summer day – but the snow reveals that we still have som way to go before the spring feeling turns into a summer feeling…

Second Day of Summer by the Ofoten Fjord

Second Day of Summer by the Ofoten Fjord


I’ve rounded 100,000 visitors to my blog!!!

I don’t know what has happened – but in one and a half years – I’ve rounded 100,000 visitors!!! Just take a look at my counter here on the right… It’s UNBELIEVABLE!!! Thank you all for making this blog such a HUGE success!!!


Very Early Pastel Sky

The morning sky at 6 am. Since we’re into the insanely stupid “Daylight Saving Time” the normal time this morning would be 5 am.

The season of the midnight sun is approaching Narvik here in the arctic…

Very Early Pastel Sky - The Midnight Sun Periode is aproaching Narvik

Very Early Pastel Sky - The Midnight Sun season is approaching Narvik


Hurtigruten Leaving – Winter Festival Over

Hurtigruten just left, hurrying out the fjord. It means that the Winter festival in Narvik is almost at an end.

Hurtigruten is leaving Narvik after having served the city for the duration of the winter festival - Vinterfestuka 2012

Hurtigruten is leaving Narvik after having served the city for the duration of the winter festival - Vinterfestuka 2012