Recently, I was reminded of a night from years ago. It was 2004, just a few sleeps before I moved to Scotland. I spent the night at my cousin’s farm far removed from the light pollution of any town or city. A spectacular light show treated me as if to say bon voyage to the prairie skies. The Aura Borealis, known colloquially as the Northern lights, were alive and dancing. I remember bundling up to block out the fall chill and laying on my back in the middle of the farmyard to take in the show that covered the entire northern half of the sky. They were brilliant. Thinking back, I recall telling myself, “this is a moment I never want to forget. I don’t think I will ever see the Northern Lights like this again.”
I didn’t realize how much I appreciated, or missed, the Northern Lights and the prairie sky until 14 months later. By that time, I had left Scotland and landed in Australia. As I ventured into the outback I became homesick for the first time since I had moved overseas.
There were three things that stuck me as I traveled deeper into Australia. They were as follows:
- I can see for miles. This feels like home.
- The stars are illuminating the sky. Even though the constellations are different, this feel like home.
- I saw a flicker of green, just above the horizon. Even though I am facing south, this feels like home.
Sure, there had been moments I missed my family as I traveled. The longer I spent in the outback the more I ached to get back to my hometown on the Saskatchewan prairies. I didn’t want my surroundings to simply feel like home, I wanted to be home.
A few weeks ago, the work of Swift Current based photographer Craig Hilts was brought to me attention. Friends of mine have an Allustra Metal print of the Northern Lights hanging on their dining room wall. I couldn’t stop looking at it. Repeatedly, I mentally returned to that night at my cousin’s and reflected on how I sometimes get so caught up in the whirlwind of life that I don’t remember to stop and enjoy the scenery of our beautiful sky.
If you have ever watched the vastness of the prairie sky come to life, I recommend that you take a minute to check out his site. Simply click on the image or follow this link. It was a picture of the Northern Lights that drew me to Craig’s work. After viewing his site I see that he has captured our sky in all its forms.
This is what Craig has to say about his photography, “Prairie Fire Photography was originally born out of my passion for what I see as some of nature’s most beautiful creations in the form of lightning and thunderstorms. Many of us have looked up to the sky during a stormy night and simply watched what I feel is one of natures greatest shows. It is this sense of wonderment that led me to create these works of art.” Craig Hilts, www.prairiefirephotos.com
How to Get There:
Move your mouse towards this link below and click on www.prairiefirephoto.com
What to Bring:
Your PayPal account. All prints transactions use PayPal’s secure service and Craig receives a notification.
When Not to Visit:
Don’t visit the site when there is a storm or northern lights to watch. Give yourself a moment to enjoy the scenery that us flat-landers take for granted everyday.
Good to know:
All of the pictures are 100% real. Aside from cleaning up the odd dust speck, or sharpening the pictures, nothing has been added, deleted or colourized. Whatever nature has decided to produce is what Hilts captures in his prints.