Yesterday was a grey rainy day. We had no “get up and go” so we stayed home. The hours passed without us really achieving anything.

Then, out of the blue, it became a memorable day.

We spotted a large pod of dolphins, swimming out in the estuary. We watched them for ages. Four groups, swimming in a line, four or five in each group. This was the third time we’d observed dolphins from our window. By far the best spectacle so far. Just beautiful.

As I’m writing this, a seal has just caught my attention. Binoculars are out again.

I’d been keeping track of the aurora forecast. Activity on the sun had been observed a couple of days ago, which could result in aurora activity here on Earth. The timing was ok, with the best likelihood of an aurora during our Australian evening. The weather was also due to clear by eight pm.

We had dinner and I monitored comments on the Facebook group. It all sounded promising. Skies were clear, stars visible and a quarter moon in the northern sky. So out we went.

The glow of an aurora was visible in the distance. A large arc across the southern sky. There were a few other people on Taroona Beach, set up with camera’s and tripods. We stopped and spoke to one lady. She was happy to chat and showed us images she was seeing through her camera.

Here are two of her photos, that she is happy for me to share. Many thanks to Ludmila Thornett-Levykina.



The naked eye sees distant aurora more in monochrome than in the colours that a camera will pick up. It was interesting to see the green and purple of the sky we were looking at. I’m getting used to talking to strangers. A man was set up with chair and flask, with his camera set to take regular images. He was also happy to chat and explain how he collates his images into time lapse videos. Again we saw the true colours through his camera.

Aurora chasers are a very friendly bunch. It was an exciting hour out in the dark, walking on the beach in the moon light, finding shady spots to get used to the night light.

The aurora began to fade and we started to feel the chill of the night. But it was well worth the effort of going out. Yes, it was a memorable day.

I will have to get a proper camera. My iPhone has been fine for everyday photos, but I want to take photos of the wildlife, and certainly of the aurora. I’m starting my christmas list in August.