The last of the Northern Lights

This was a great winter. We had a lot of snow and we did a lot of things. We had some very cold days but overall, it was moderately cold. The only bad part was the lack of northern lights. As I’ve written before, we had a few events that were unavailable due to cloud cover but luckily, we got one last blast before the darkness ended. From now until the end of September, we won’t have “dark night”. It starts getting dark in August but we are unable to see the milky way until around October. It’s very gradual but the days just get longer and longer until you realize it’s midnight and the birds are still flying around.

I love winter but summer is the best season in my opinion. It comes with it’s negatives like mosquitos and other biting bugs but once you get used to getting bit, it becomes less of a nuisance but only “less of a nuisance”. The great part is fishing at 2 in the morning and it’s quiet and still but full daylight. It’s really weird to experience and even after 20 years when I think about the time, it’s still weird.

Another negative thing about the summers is the 4th of July. It used to be my favorite holiday because it’s summer, BBQ’d food, fireworks and the old feeling of patriotism and pride of my country and the people who fought and died to give us our freedom. Here though, it’s obviously not a holiday and lighting off fireworks during daylight just doesn’t have the same effect. But the BBQ is a steady tool throughout the whole of summer.

It’s during April and May that daylight takes over and everyone is psyching themselves up for the summer both biologically and planning. The only truth one can count on is that the weather cannot be expected. We could have a great, warm summer or it could rain the whole time. This is something Swedes take with a grain of salt, but they all hope for a warm, sunny one. I’ve become more Swedish in that sense. I no longer get too bothered if we get a cold, rainy summer but I always hope for a good one. My first few years, I NEEDED a vacation to somewhere HOT. But now, it’s not necessary.

Anyway, back to the subject of this story, the last northern lights. This was taken on the ninth of April. We had a coronal hole stream that was center disk on the sun and it was pretty powerful. Good thing too because the sun has been asleep nearly the whole winter. Here are some shots from that night.

 

The cabin is my brother in laws and I get it all warmed up with a fire and light some candles. It’s a great thing to have because sometimes it gets so cold it’s miserable. Having the cabin removes that. It’s also cool because theres no electricity or water so it kind of gives you that rugged, old time feeling. The sequence of pictures is from the beginning when we could see it until just before I left when the real action was long gone. A lot of purple which tends to be on the outskirts and above of the main aurora.

Pushed into a corner.

Today I went into Instagram and was greeted with a welcoming notice that they are changing their terms of service, data policy and terms of use. There was no way to opt out but I was offered to just continue without reading the changes or read the changes. Well, after what’s been going on with Facebook the past month and longer, really, I decided to take the time and read what it was that I was being forced to agree to. What I read, really disturbed me. After all, I left Facebook because they were trampling on my privacy. Come to find out, they’ve trampled on everybody’s privacy. I’ve been on Instagram since 2012 and I never got a huge following but I did at least have one location on the internet where I could share my gallery and get a little feedback. Below is the agreement you make with Facebook/Instagram. Be sure you read it. In agreeing with these terms and changes, you willingly forfeit your privacy and accept them tracking your every move. Why does a “company” feel the need to track your every move? This has nothing to do with guilt but has everything to do with my freedom of privacy. This is something everyone should be worried about. This is spying to the levels of the KGB and other communist entities. It’s wrong. It’s unethical. It’s evil.

Instagram Data Policy

Note: Our Data Policy is changing. You can view our previous Privacy Policy here.

Data Policy

This policy describes the information we process to support Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other products and features offered by Facebook (Facebook Products or Products). You can find additional tools and information in the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings.

I. What kinds of information do we collect?

To provide the Facebook Products, we must process information about you. The types of information we collect depend on how you use our Products. You can learn how to access and delete information we collect by visiting the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings.

Things you and others do and provide

• Information and content you provide. We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide (like metadata), such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. It can also include what you see through features we provide, such as our camera, so we can do things like suggest masks and filters that you might like, or give you tips on using portrait mode. Our systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyze context and what’s in them for the purposes described below. Learn more about how you can control who can see the things you share.

• Data with special protections: You can choose to provide information in your Facebook profile fields or Life Events about your religious views, political views, who you are “interested in,” or your health. This and other information (such as racial or ethnic origin, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership) is subject to special protections under EU law.

• Networks and connections. We collect information about the people, Pages, accounts, hashtags and groups you are connected to and how you interact with them across our Products, such as people you communicate with the most or groups you are part of. We also collect contact information if you choose to upload, sync or import it from a device (such as an address book or call log or SMS log history), which we use for things like helping you and others find people you may know and for the other purposes listed below.

• Your usage. We collect information about how you use our Products, such as the types of content you view or engage with; the features you use; the actions you take; the people or accounts you interact with; and the time, frequency and duration of your activities. For example, we log when you’re using and have last used our Products, and what posts, videos and other content you view on our Products. We also collect information about how you use features like our camera.

• Information about transactions made on our Products. If you use our Products for purchases or other financial transactions (such as when you make a purchase in a game or make a donation), we collect information about the purchase or transaction. This includes payment information, such as your credit or debit card number and other card information; other account and authentication information; and billing, shipping and contact details.

• Things others do and information they provide about you. We also receive and analyze content, communications and information that other people provide when they use our Products. This can include information about you, such as when others share or comment on a photo of you, send a message to you, or upload, sync or import your contact information.

Device Information

As described below, we collect information from and about the computers, phones, connected TVs and other web-connected devices you use that integrate with our Products, and we combine this information across different devices you use. For example, we use information collected about your use of our Products on your phone to better personalize the content (including ads) or features you see when you use our Products on another device, such as your laptop or tablet, or to measure whether you took an action in response to an ad we showed you on your phone on a different device.

Information we obtain from these devices includes:

• Device attributes: information such as the operating system, hardware and software versions, battery level, signal strength, available storage space, browser type, app and file names and types, and plugins.

• Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots).

• Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).

• Device signals: Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.

• Data from device settings: information you allow us to receive through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos.

• Network and connections: information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, mobile phone number, IP address, connection speed and, in some cases, information about other devices that are nearby or on your network, so we can do things like help you stream a video from your phone to your TV.

• Cookie data: data from cookies stored on your device, including cookie IDs and settings. Learn more about how we use cookies in the Facebook Cookies Policy and Instagram Cookies Policy.

Information from partners

Advertisers, app developers, and publishers can send us information through Facebook Business Tools they use, including our social plug-ins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel. These partners provide information about your activities off Facebook—including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, the ads you see, and how you use their services—whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook. For example, a game developer could use our API to tell us what games you play, or a business could tell us about a purchase you made in its store. We also receive information about your online and offline actions and purchases from third-party data providers who have the rights to provide us with your information.

Partners receive your data when you visit or use their services or through third parties they work with. We require each of these partners to have lawful rights to collect, use and share your data before providing any data to us. Learn more about the types of partners we receive data from.

To learn more about how we use cookies in connection with Facebook Business Tools, review the Facebook Cookies Policy and Instagram Cookies Policy.

II. How do we use this information?

We use the information we have (subject to choices you make) as described below and to provide and support the Facebook Products and related services described in the Facebook Terms and Instagram Terms. Here’s how:

Provide, personalize and improve our Products.

We use the information we have to deliver our Products, including to personalize features and content (including your News Feed, Instagram Feed, Instagram Stories and ads) and make suggestions for you (such as groups or events you may be interested in or topics you may want to follow) on and off our Products. To create personalized Products that are unique and relevant to you, we use your connections, preferences, interests and activities based on the data we collect and learn from you and others (including any data with special protections you choose to provide where you have given your explicit consent); how you use and interact with our Products; and the people, places, or things you’re connected to and interested in on and off our Products. Learn more about how we use information about you to personalize your Facebook and Instagram experience, including features, content and recommendations in Facebook Products; you can also learn more about how we choose the ads that you see.

• Information across Facebook Products and devices: We connect information about your activities on different Facebook Products and devices to provide a more tailored and consistent experience on all Facebook Products you use, wherever you use them. For example, we can suggest that you join a group on Facebook that includes people you follow on Instagram or communicate with using Messenger. We can also make your experience more seamless, for example, by automatically filling in your registration information (such as your phone number) from one Facebook Product when you sign up for an account on a different Product.

• Location-related information: We use location-related information-such as your current location, where you live, the places you like to go, and the businesses and people you’re near-to provide, personalize and improve our Products, including ads, for you and others. Location-related information can be based on things like precise device location (if you’ve allowed us to collect it), IP addresses, and information from your and others’ use of Facebook Products (such as check-ins or events you attend).

• Product research and development: We use the information we have to develop, test and improve our Products, including by conducting surveys and research, and testing and troubleshooting new products and features.

• Face recognition: If you have it turned on, we use face recognition technology to recognize you in photos, videos and camera experiences. The face-recognition templates we create are data with special protections under EU law. Learn more about how we use face recognition technology, or control our use of this technology in Facebook Settings. If we introduce face-recognition technology to your Instagram experience, we will let you know first, and you will have control over whether we use this technology for you.

• Ads and other sponsored content: We use the information we have about you-including information about your interests, actions and connections-to select and personalize ads, offers and other sponsored content that we show you. Learn more about how we select and personalize ads, and your choices over the data we use to select ads and other sponsored content for you in the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings.

Provide measurement, analytics, and other business services.

We use the information we have (including your activity off our Products, such as the websites you visit and ads you see) to help advertisers and other partners measure the effectiveness and distribution of their ads and services, and understand the types of people who use their services and how people interact with their websites, apps, and services. Learn how we share information with these partners.

Promote safety, integrity and security.

We use the information we have to verify accounts and activity, combat harmful conduct, detect and prevent spam and other bad experiences, maintain the integrity of our Products, and promote safety and security on and off of Facebook Products. For example, we use data we have to investigate suspicious activity or violations of our terms or policies, or to detect when someone needs help. To learn more, visit the Facebook Security Help Center and Instagram Security Tips.

Communicate with you.

We use the information we have to send you marketing communications, communicate with you about our Products, and let you know about our policies and terms. We also use your information to respond to you when you contact us.

Research and innovate for social good.

We use the information we have to conduct and support research and innovation on topics of general social welfare, technological advancement, public interest, health and well-being. For example, we analyze information we have about migration patterns during crises to aid relief efforts. Learn more about our research programs.

III. How is this information shared?

Your information is shared with others in the following ways:

Sharing on Facebook Products

People and accounts you share and communicate with

When you share and communicate using our Products, you choose the audience for what you share. For example, when you post on Facebook, you select the audience for the post, such as a group, all of your friends, the public, or a customized list of people. Similarly, when you use Messenger or Instagram to communicate with people or businesses, those people and businesses can see the content you send. Your network can also see actions you have taken on our Products, including engagement with ads and sponsored content. We also let other accounts see who has viewed their Facebook or Instagram Stories.

Public information can be seen by anyone, on or off our Products, including if they don’t have an account. This includes your Instagram username; any information you share with a public audience; information in your public profile on Facebook; and content you share on a Facebook Page, public Instagram account or any other public forum, such as Facebook Marketplace. You, other people using Facebook and Instagram, and we can provide access to or send public information to anyone on or off our Products, including in other Facebook Company Products, in search results, or through tools and APIs. Public information can also be seen, accessed, reshared or downloaded through third-party services such as search engines, APIs, and offline media such as TV, and by apps, websites and other services that integrate with our Products.

Learn more about what information is public and how to control your visibility on Facebook and Instagram.

Content others share or reshare about you

You should consider who you choose to share with, because people who can see your activity on our Products can choose to share it with others on and off our Products, including people and businesses outside the audience you shared with. For example, when you share a post or send a message to specific friends or accounts, they can download, screenshot, or reshare that content to others across or off our Products, in person or in virtual reality experiences such as Facebook Spaces. Also, when you comment on someone else’s post or react to their content, your comment or reaction is visible to anyone who can see the other person’s content, and that person can change the audience later.

People can also use our Products to create and share content about you with the audience they choose. For example, people can share a photo of you in a Story, mention or tag you at a location in a post, or share information about you in their posts or messages. If you are uncomfortable with what others have shared about you on our Products, you can learn how to report the content.

Information about your active status or presence on our Products.

People in your networks can see signals telling them whether you are active on our Products, including whether you are currently active on Instagram, Messenger or Facebook, or when you last used our Products.

Apps, websites, and third-party integrations on or using our Products.

When you choose to use third-party apps, websites, or other services that use, or are integrated with, our Products, they can receive information about what you post or share. For example, when you play a game with your Facebook friends or use a Facebook Comment or Share button on a website, the game developer or website can receive information about your activities in the game or receive a comment or link that you share from the website on Facebook. Also, when you download or use such third-party services, they can access your public profile on Facebook, and any information that you share with them. Apps and websites you use may receive your list of Facebook friends if you choose to share it with them. But apps and websites you use will not be able to receive any other information about your Facebook friends from you, or information about any of your Instagram followers (although your friends and followers may, of course, choose to share this information themselves). Information collected by these third-party services is subject to their own terms and policies, not this one.

Devices and operating systems providing native versions of Facebook and Instagram (i.e. where we have not developed our own first-party apps) will have access to all information you choose to share with them, including information your friends share with you, so they can provide our core functionality to you.

Note: We are in the process of restricting developers’ data access even further to help prevent abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your Facebook and Instagram data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months, and we are changing Login, so that in the next version, we will reduce the data that an app can request without app review to include only name, Instagram username and bio, profile photo and email address. Requesting any other data will require our approval.

New owner.

If the ownership or control of all or part of our Products or their assets changes, we may transfer your information to the new owner.

Sharing with Third-Party Partners

We work with third-party partners who help us provide and improve our Products or who use Facebook Business Tools to grow their businesses, which makes it possible to operate our companies and provide free services to people around the world. We don’t sell any of your information to anyone, and we never will. We also impose strict restrictions on how our partners can use and disclose the data we provide. Here are the types of third parties we share information with:

Partners who use our analytics services.

We provide aggregated statistics and insights that help people and businesses understand how people are engaging with their posts, listings, Pages, videos and other content on and off the Facebook Products. For example, Page admins and Instagram business profiles receive information about the number of people or accounts who viewed, reacted to, or commented on their posts, as well as aggregate demographic and other information that helps them understand interactions with their Page or account.

Advertisers.

We provide advertisers with reports about the kinds of people seeing their ads and how their ads are performing, but we don’t share information that personally identifies you (information such as your name or email address that by itself can be used to contact you or identifies who you are) unless you give us permission. For example, we provide general demographic and interest information to advertisers (for example, that an ad was seen by a woman between the ages of 25 and 34 who lives in Madrid and likes software engineering) to help them better understand their audience. We also confirm which Facebook ads led you to make a purchase or take an action with an advertiser.

Measurement partners.

We share information about you with companies that aggregate it to provide analytics and measurement reports to our partners.

Partners offering goods and services in our Products.

When you subscribe to receive premium content, or buy something from a seller in our Products, the content creator or seller can receive your public information and other information you share with them, as well as the information needed to complete the transaction, including shipping and contact details.

Vendors and service providers.

We provide information and content to vendors and service providers who support our business, such as by providing technical infrastructure services, analyzing how our Products are used, providing customer service, facilitating payments or conducting surveys.

Researchers and academics.

We also provide information and content to research partners and academics to conduct research that advances scholarship and innovation that support our business or mission, and enhances discovery and innovation on topics of general social welfare, technological advancement, public interest, health and well-being.

Law enforcement or legal requests

We share information with law enforcement or in response to legal requests in the circumstances outlined below.

Learn more about how you can control the information about you that you or others share with third-party partners in the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings.

IV. How do the Facebook Companies work together?

Facebook and Instagram share infrastructure, systems and technology with other Facebook Companies (which include WhatsApp and Oculus) to provide an innovative, relevant, consistent and safe experience across all Facebook Company Products you use. We also process information about you across the Facebook Companies for these purposes, as permitted by applicable law and in accordance with their terms and policies. For example, we process information from WhatsApp about accounts sending spam on its service so we can take appropriate action against those accounts on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. We also work to understand how people use and interact with Facebook Company Products, such as understanding the number of unique users on different Facebook Company Products.

V. What is our legal basis for processing data?

We collect, use and share the data that we have in the ways described above:

• as necessary to fulfill our Facebook Terms of Service or Instagram Terms of Use;

• consistent with your consent, which you may revoke at any time through the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings;

• as necessary to comply with our legal obligations

• to protect your vital interests, or those of others;

• as necessary in the public interest; and

• as necessary for our (or others’) legitimate interests, including our interests in providing an innovative, personalized, safe, and profitable service to our users and partners, unless those interests are overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms that require protection of personal data.

Learn more about these legal bases and how they relate to the ways in which we process data.

VI. How can you exercise your rights provided under the GDPR?

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the right to access, rectify, port and erase your data. Learn more about these rights, and find out how you can exercise your rights in the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings. You also have the right to object to and restrict certain processing of your data. This includes:

• the right to object to our processing of your data for direct marketing, which you can exercise by using the “unsubscribe” link in such marketing communications; and

• the right to object to our processing of your data where we are performing a task in the public interest or pursuing our legitimate interests or those of a third party. You can exercise this right on Facebook and on Instagram.

VII. Data retention, account deactivation and deletion

We store data until it is no longer necessary to provide our services and Facebook Products, or until your account is deleted – whichever comes first. This is a case-by-case determination that depends on things like the nature of the data, why it is collected and processed, and relevant legal or operational retention needs. For example, when you search for something on Facebook, you can access and delete that query from within your search history at any time, but the log of that search is deleted after 6 months. If you submit a copy of your government-issued ID for account verification purposes, we delete that copy 30 days after submission. Learn more about deletion of content you have shared and cookie data obtained through social plugins.

When you delete your account, we delete things you have posted, such as your photos and status updates, and you won’t be able to recover that information later. Information that others have shared about you isn’t part of your account and won’t be deleted. If you don’t want to delete your account but want to temporarily stop using the Products, you can deactivate your account instead. To delete your account at any time, please visit the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings.

VIII. How do we respond to legal requests or prevent harm?

We access, preserve and share your information with regulators, law enforcement or others:

• In response to a legal request, if we have a good-faith belief that the law requires us to do so. We can also respond to legal requests when we have a good-faith belief that the response is required by law in that jurisdiction, affects users in that jurisdiction, and is consistent with internationally recognized standards.

• When we have a good-faith belief it is necessary to: detect, prevent and address fraud, unauthorized use of the Products, violations of our terms or policies, or other harmful or illegal activity; to protect ourselves (including our rights, property or Products), you or others, including as part of investigations or regulatory inquiries; or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm. For example, if relevant, we provide information to and receive information from third-party partners about the reliability of your account to prevent fraud, abuse and other harmful activity on and off our Products.

Information we receive about you (including financial transaction data related to purchases made with Facebook) can be accessed and preserved for an extended period when it is the subject of a legal request or obligation, governmental investigation, or investigations of possible violations of our terms or policies, or otherwise to prevent harm. We also retain information from accounts disabled for terms violations for at least a year to prevent repeat abuse or other term violations.

IX. How do we operate and transfer data as part of our global services?

We share information globally, both internally within the Facebook Companies and externally with our partners and with those you connect and share with around the world in accordance with this policy. Information controlled by Facebook Ireland will be transferred or transmitted to, or stored and processed in, the United States or other countries outside of where you live for the purposes as described in this policy. These data transfers are necessary to provide the services set forth in the Facebook Terms and Instagram Terms and to globally operate and provide our Products to you. We utilize standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission and rely on the European Commission’s adequacy decisions about certain countries, as applicable, for data transfers from the EEA to the United States and other countries.

X. How will we notify you of changes to this policy?

We’ll notify you before we make changes to this policy and give you the opportunity to review the revised policy before you choose to continue using our Products.

XI. How to contact Facebook with questions

You can learn more about how privacy works on Facebook and on Instagram. If you have questions about this policy, you can contact us as described below. We may resolve disputes you have with us in connection with our privacy policies and practices through TrustArc. You can contact TrustArc through its website.

The data controller responsible for your information is Facebook Ireland, which you can contact online, or by mail at:

Facebook Ireland Ltd.

4 Grand Canal Square

Grand Canal Harbour

Dublin 2 Ireland

Contact the Data Protection Officer for Facebook Ireland Ltd.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with Facebook Ireland’s lead supervisory authority, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, or your local supervisory authority.

Date of Last Revision: April 19, 2018″

Terms of Use

Note: Our Terms of Use are changing. You can view our previous Terms of Use here.

Terms of Use

Welcome to Instagram!

These Terms of Use govern your use of Instagram and provide information about the Instagram Service, outlined below. When you create an Instagram account or use Instagram, you agree to these terms.

The Instagram Service is one of the Facebook Products, provided to you by Facebook Ireland Limited. These Terms of Use therefore constitute an agreement between you and Facebook Ireland Limited.

The Instagram Service

We agree to provide you with the Instagram Service. The Service includes all of the Instagram products, features, applications, services, technologies, and software that we provide to advance Instagram’s mission: To bring you closer to the people and things you love. The Service is made up of the following aspects (the Service):

• Offering personalized opportunities to create, connect, communicate, discover, and share.
People are different. We want to strengthen your relationships through shared experiences you actually care about. So we build systems that try to understand who and what you and others care about, and use that information to help you create, find, join, and share in experiences that matter to you. Part of that is highlighting content, features, offers, and accounts you might be interested in, and offering ways for you to experience Instagram, based on things you and others do on and off Instagram.

• Fostering a positive, inclusive, and safe environment.
We develop and use tools and offer resources to our community members that help to make their experiences positive and inclusive, including when we think they might need help. We also have teams and systems that work to combat abuse and violations of our Terms and policies, as well as harmful and deceptive behavior. We use all the information we have-including your information-to try to keep our platform secure. We also may share information about misuse or harmful content with other Facebook Companies or law enforcement. Learn more in the Data Policy.

• Developing and using technologies that help us consistently serve our growing community.
Organizing and analyzing information for our growing community is central to our Service. A big part of our Service is creating and using cutting-edge technologies that help us personalize, protect, and improve our Service on an incredibly large scale for a broad global community. Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning give us the power to apply complex processes across our Service. Automated technologies also help us ensure the functionality and integrity of our Service.

• Providing consistent and seamless experiences across other Facebook Company Products.
Instagram is part of the Facebook Companies, which share technology, systems, insights, and information-including the information we have about you (learn more in the Data Policy)-in order to provide services that are better, safer, and more secure. We also provide ways to interact across the Facebook Company Products that you use, and designed systems to achieve a seamless and consistent experience across the Facebook Company Products.

• Ensuring a stable global infrastructure for our Service.
To provide our global Service, we must store and transfer data across our systems around the world, including outside of your country of residence. This infrastructure may be owned or operated by Facebook Inc., Facebook Ireland Limited, or their affiliates.

• Connecting you with brands, products, and services in ways you care about.
We use data from Instagram and other Facebook Company Products, as well as from third-party partners, to show you ads, offers, and other sponsored content that we believe will be meaningful to you. And we try to make that content as relevant as all your other experiences on Instagram.

• Research and innovation.
We use the information we have to study our Service and collaborate with others on research to make our Service better and contribute to the well-being of our community.

The Data Policy

Providing our Service requires collecting and using your information. The Data Policy explains how we collect, use, and share information across the Facebook Products. It also explains the many ways you can control your information, including in the Instagram Privacy and Security Settings.

Your Commitments

In return for our commitment to provide the Service, we require you to make the below commitments to us.

Who Can Use Instagram. We want our Service to be as open and inclusive as possible, but we also want it to be safe, secure, and in accordance with the law. So, we need you to commit to a few restrictions in order to be part of the Instagram community.

• You must be at least 13 years old.

• You must not be prohibited from receiving any aspect of our Service under applicable laws or engaging in payments related Services if you are on an applicable denied party listing.

• We must not have previously disabled your account for violation of law or any of our policies.

• You must not be a convicted sex offender.

How You Can’t Use Instagram. Providing a safe and open Service for a broad community requires that we all do our part.

• You can’t impersonate others or provide inaccurate information.
You don’t have to disclose your identity on Instagram, but you must provide us with accurate and up to date information (including registration information). Also, you may not impersonate someone you aren’t, and you can’t create an account for someone else unless you have their express permission.

• You can’t do anything unlawful, misleading, or fraudulent or for an illegal or unauthorized purpose.

• You can’t violate (or help or encourage others to violate) these Terms or our policies, including in particular the Instagram Community Guidelines, Instagram Platform Policy, and Music Guidelines. Learn how to report conduct or content in our Help Center.

• You can’t do anything to interfere with or impair the intended operation of the Service.

• You can’t attempt to create accounts or access or collect information in unauthorized ways.
This includes creating accounts or collecting information in an automated way without our express permission.

• You can’t attempt to buy, sell, or transfer any aspect of your account (including your username) or solicit, collect, or use login credentials or badges of other users.

• You can’t post private or confidential information or do anything that violates someone else’s rights, including intellectual property.
Learn more, including how to report content that you think infringes your intellectual property rights, here.

• You can’t use a domain name or URL in your username without our prior written consent.

Permissions You Give to Us. As part of our agreement, you also give us permissions that we need to provide the Service.

• We do not claim ownership of your content, but you grant us a license to use it.
Nothing is changing about your rights in your content. We do not claim ownership of your content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). You can end this license anytime by deleting your content or account. However, content will continue to appear if you shared it with others and they have not deleted it. To learn more about how we use information, and how to control or delete your content, review the Data Policy and visit the Instagram Help Center.

• Permission to use your username, profile picture, and information about your relationships and actions with accounts, ads, and sponsored content.
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Spring Adventures

Busy, busy, busy. With all of the kid’s activities, work, family stuff and weather, I just never seem to get any time or inspiration to get on here for an update. Well, here it is.

This winter has produced more snow than I’ve ever been witness to in Sweden. Yes we have had winters that were worse than others as far as snow fall is concerned, but this year (for me) takes the cake. We have an average base of 1½ – 2 meters of snow. It began to fall in October which isn’t out of the ordinary but it just stacked and stacked over the following months making Christmas a real delight. New Year’s was also a lot of fun with the hill we have behind the house and tiki torches lighting up the run. Something I’m sure my kids will remember for the rest of their lives, as will I.

This of course meant, what seemed like, continuous snow removal with the snow thrower and the shovels. We had a good meter of snow built up on the roofs and the unfortunate few actually had cave-ins on barns and wood sheds. So far, I wasn’t affected by this catastrophe and I say “so far” because it’s snowing as I type this. However, I’m pretty sure I’m out of the woods as far as a cave-in is concerned but I may have to start up the snow thrower anyway for one last time.

In these pictures, my kids are busy digging themselves a snow fort/cave in about 6 feet deep snow on the side yard, This is an experience I never got to live but I always fantasized about it when I was little. I’m happy they got this experience.

 

 

As the days finally began to catch up with the night near the end of February, we became more active as does most everyone else. Night driving is always a risky business since there is a lot of wildlife that meanders onto the roads most especially when there is deep snow elsewhere. Who likes walking in deep snow? It’s a hassle. The animals most guilty of this are the herds of reindeer which come down from the mountains in order to feed during the winter. Unfortunately, every year many of these beautiful creatures lose their lives to traffic accidents as they lick the roads for salt. No one tries to hit them but accidents do happen and it’s a bummer. Regardless, it’s great seeing them and if you come to Sweden for a visit, and you see warning signs or plastic bags tied to sticks, slow down, be vigilant and get your camera ready. The signs and warnings are there for a reason and they’re a great notification that you may catch some good photos. Here are a few of my encounters. If you want to see more, check out my instagram collection. The link is at the bottom of the blog.

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We also spent a lot of time skiing this year. Even during the darkest times. The weekend these pictures were taken was one of the first weekends where the sun shone so strong that it put gallons of happiness and much needed vitamin D into the population. Here we are skiing at one of our favorite ski resorts called Vemdalen (directly translated and always fun to tell those who don’t speak Swedish as “Who Valley”. Like in Dr. Seuss.) This is a great resort for all and if you have small children, it’s ideal. They have an escalator band that small kids ski onto and it takes them up the bunny slope. Super easy and it’s encapsulated with fun, kid music playing on the trip up. The bunny slope is very mellow and perfect for youngsters to learn to turn, stop and just get the feel. From there you can ski over to the anchor lifts where you grab onto a pole attached to a pull cable and tuck it between your legs. It’s a simple design but it moves people up the hill at a continuous rate. Very effective at eliminating lines. There are also chair lifts which take you to the tops of the peaks and as most know, these are speedy and great for a rest between rides.

There are many peaks and a huge variety of slopes to ride each one offering a restaurant and different vistas to experience. This mountain range serves people of every experience level, has some boon-docking through forested hills and some fun slopes for kids to practice jumps, rail slides and slalom. The prices are pretty reasonable as well considering the creature comforts it affords. Much cheaper than Disneyland, I can assure you.

One of the biggest reasons I like Vemdalen is the ease of parking. I have found this to be the biggest frustration about skiing in Sweden. Vemdalen offers a huge parking lot and even if you have to walk a little extra, parking has never been an issue. There’s also a nice hotel to stay at which is also somewhat reasonably priced even during high season. Summer prices are much better though and even though you can’t ski, there are a ton of trails everywhere.

Here are some photos of the day we spent there. It was a fantastic day and we were so worn out by the time we skied back to the car. Slept like a king that night, though.

 

 

When I mentioned the amount of snow we received, I forgot to mention the cold that came with it. The coldest we had recorded was -38°C. It was so cold that my car and it’s crummy electronics couldn’t handle it, so I got an engine fault alarm and then it went into some emergency mode and prohibited me from driving faster than 35mph. I noticed some people tape cardboard to the grill of their car to inhibit cooling the radiator. I will be trying that next winter or I’ll just buy an old, analog car so I won’t have to deal with electronic monitoring. If you have an old Volvo station wagon in decent condition and you just wanna get rid of it, let me know. I like the late 70’s models up to early 80’s. ;-D

Here are some photos of the coldest days we received (while the sun was shining). No need to depress any of you with the cold, darkness.

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We also did some local skiing in our home town. The slope isn’t as advanced and it’s run by parents and locals from the town. It’s a great place to ride. Close and cheap and offers a rail, forest runs and some speed runs. The only downside is the rides are short but there’s never a line to get back to the top so it’s a great slope in my opinion.

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Easter weekend was iconic, Easter weather for Sweden. Warm(er) temps, sunny skies and no wind. This is the kind of weather that offers a plethora of opportunity to have fun or be outside working on projects or just doing absolutely nothing other than sun bathing – with a parka and long underwear, of course. This isn’t Hawaii after all. The only complaint I had about the weather was I got a little sun burned but that’s unlikely to draw out any sympathy from anyone so I’ll just not complain at all.

A friend of mine and I took the opportunity to ride our snowmobiles for a photo-safari. He’s a fantastic photographer and he can be found on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/c68s . I recommend you take a look. Anyway, we spent the days riding all over the place. Riding under power lines, on frozen rivers, frozen lakes and awesome forest trails. The amount of deep snow we received really paid dividends on fun this season. Here is a shot taken during our escapades. Again, refer to my instagram collection to see more.

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And what would winter be in Sweden without some Northern Lights? Another iconic symbol of the arctic and Sweden. The bad part is the sun has been super inactive but the relatively few decent solar storms we received, we either had clouds or I was just too tired to stay awake or it was way too cold for me to stand out there and pray I didn’t die from exposure or destroy my camera. I did catch a few medium to low events but missed the more severe ones. Hopefully this weekend we will have one, last blast before the 24hrs of daylight sets in and we lose night for a few months.

I get very little traffic on my blog so if you like it, be sure to mention it to a friend and pass it around. The more traffic I get, the more guilty I feel for not updating and it will force me to make this a habit.

Until next time, take care!

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A cabin on a frozen lake

Throughout my life here, I have driven past this little cabin umpteen times. Every time I drive by I always imagine the things I might do if it were mine. It sits on the good side of the lake, which means, it faces south. The benefit of a south facing house is the sunshine.

When you live above the 48th parallel, winters are darker, longer and summers have much longer days. Where I live, most of the summer never gets dark or even dusk from about May-September. The opposite occurs during winter so having a south facing house allows for the few sunny days we get, to shine every little drop it gives. This cabin is perfect!

This photo was taken in January of 2018. I went on a photo excursion with my friend and we stopped and I had a chance of locking this cabin into my collection.

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Snow, snow and more snow!

2018 has been a great year so far! Talk about a winter wonderland. This year, we’ve received more snow than I can recall in 20 years. Not only have we got the snow, we have had plenty of days of subzero weather. The coldest so far was about -30˚C which isn’t for the weak of heart but it’s a lot warmer than those living in other arctic areas. I read that Russians in Siberia had severe cold with temperatures reaching near -70˚C! If you ask me, anything colder than -30˚ is unrecognizable because it’s so cold, the body can’t tell the difference. However, I’ll take -30 over -70 any day. Luckily, we don’t have any seriously cold days like this thanks to the jet stream.

I like to watch the weather, and see where the jet stream and the pressure systems are every day and watch them slowly move across the earth. It helps me plan or anticipate when some real cold is coming or to see when we will get an up-flow of warmer weather from the south. It all depends on these two features. What steers those is up for debate as science is ever evolving and very complicated as physics and celestial processes are involved and working with and/or against one another. That is also another interesting discussion which I tend to have with myself as no one I know is really interested. ;-D

I’ve taken a lot of pictures since my last post and I’ve not kept up with my promise to myself that I would blog more. As of TODAY, I’m back on track but we will see how that goes as life has its way of steering my time and will.

The picture here is a demonstration of the kind of weather we have received. Plenty of snow as I have stated and so far we have a good meter base. In the fjällen there is over 2 meters in some places. It’s a lot of work to move the snow and one really must stay on top of it or else its even harder to get rid of. I’m fortunate enough to have a snowblower but even that is becoming a problem because the snow is so high that there will soon be issues with getting it over the edge. That means, I may have to shovel away some snow further back which I’m hoping to avoid. It might be soon time to get a tractor.

I hope you’ll enjoy the following posts coming up. They are records of the past few weeks. I hope your all well. _MG_0079

The Steam Train

Earlier this month I went to a local Christmas market in Sweden with my daughters. The market is special in that it’s a market held by a cultural museum. Here, they have been able to capture certain time periods by hiring people to act the part and speak the dialects from the past and wear the old traditional garb from the specific activity they’re participating in. From metal smiths to other traditional handcrafts as well as older means of winter transportation such as sleds, and in this photo, a steam engined train.

When we arrived, my daughters noticed a sound that provoked us to investigate. It was the toot and hissing from the train. We are Harry Potter fans so when we saw the train, the first thing we all said was, “It’s the Hogwartz Express!!”. The engineer was dress in the old 19th century uniform and in the picture, you can just barely see his face almost giving him a ghostly appearance. In the distance, the conductor stands awaiting the engineers check to yell “ALL ABOARD!” and signal that it’s time to roll! It was something that brought back early childhood memories of black & white movies of the old railroad in America.

This experience was a lot of fun for all of us. I had so many people who enjoyed this picture so I had to post it for the rest of the world. Of course, the original without the advertisement is much better and I’ve been contemplating on making my pictures purchasable but have yet to commit because I haven’t had any offers. So if there is any interest, feel free to let me know. I’m on the fence for now.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and I hope you’ll all have an amazingly positive 2018. Take care!_MG_8540

Christmas Eve aurora 2017

Last night after spending time with the family and eating and gift exchanging, I went out on the ice in anticipation for the coronal hole stream that was impacting the planet. I was joined by a family member on his snowmobile so I use the opportunity to have a subject included in my picture since the aurora wasn’t what I would describe as spectacular (albeit, I have a higher scale than those who have never seen the aurora before.)

The night did offer what I would consider perfection for capturing Christmas Eve. For one, we have plenty of snow which in and of itself pushes the Christmas spirit. Also the aurora most identified to winter although its present during the summer but not seen because we who live above the 48˚ latitude line don’t get much, if any, darkness during summer. The snowmobile is the modern day sled or sleigh which signifies Santa Claus (just play along). Also a falling star was a surprise that was caught in the shot and in Sweden, Disney cartoons are a staple of Christmas TV programming which has long been a family tradition. The end of the cartoon series is the song Jiminy Cricket sings, “When you wish upon a star”. This conjures up Christmas feelings among most Swedes although I’ve never really posed the question, I would find it odd if there was no Christmas connection when they hear it. Of course last and my least favorite in most pictures are the town lights. I like pitch black when I’m out shooting the aurora but with Christmas, one must have Christmas lights and in this particular scene, the town lights add to the Christmas spirit.

I hope all who have read this, and most of that have not, have had a great Christmas and I hope you got to spend it with meaningful people in your life. Christmas for me is a reminder and a societal and religious push to make time for family and the people you care about. Remove the corporate side of it and focus on the actual meaning of Christmas. This is a time of generosity, love and togetherness. I wish you all a Merry Christmas!blog fred_MG_9138

Aurora in the woods

This photo was taken on November 10th. One of many pictures from a nice evening with my daughter watching how the sun affects the earth in an electrical sense. Tuesday night we should be getting some pretty good northern lights and I’m sure I will have a lot to share both on here and instagram. Luckily the ice is pretty good on the lakes now so I won’t be locked on shore and can get some better aspects. Stay tuned. _MG_7943

November 7-10 Aurora, 2017

Last week was an eventful week for aurora.

Below are a couple pictures from my shoot over a four day period. This aurora was caused by a coronal hole on the sun. I was very lucky to have clear skies because last winter was a near total loss due to cloud cover. Hopefully this luck will continue.

As I write this, another coronal hole stream has arrived and I’m getting ants in my pants to finish this post. So I will cut it short since I really don’t have much to add other than, we had a full moon the first night which pretty much dulled out the light from the aurora but I got a few good shots anyway (not included). Aside from the first night, the other four nights were pretty good except on the 8th because clouds moved in and cleared out on on the ninth. The first picture directly below is from the night of the 9th and the picture below that, with the boat, is from the 10th.

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These are the charts I used in anticipation before the sun’s activities affect earth. Mostly I watch the magnetosphere which gives a decent multi-hour warning before we see the effects. Also monitoring the solar wind which is dependent on the type of event the sun sends our way. Coronal holes are fast and tend to change the angle of the magnetosphere. A very powerful shift tends to produce powerful aurora. The less the angle change, the weaker the aurora.

The next chart I will look at will be the KP Index. This is just a good chart for seeing what NOAA is recording for geomagnetic power, although this doesn’t tell me the truth locally. So I use the Swedish Institute of Space Physics’ charts which tell me precisely what’s going on above me. They provide a great service. Then to record the strength and what the aurora may best be translated, I will use the Auroral Oval charts. I have friends in the southern hemisphere so I try to include that with my photos.

The sun is a very interesting subject for me and I have my own theories on how it works and how its powered. It’s not necessarily what NASA and textbooks may say, but a theory is a theory until proven to be as close to the truth as we can ever know with the information we’ve attained. At the moment, the sun is built upon theories that to me, are outdated and I find more understanding with an electric theory which for me isn’t a huge stretch since science shows the sun emits electrons, along with ionized gases in which case, plasma physics explain a whole lot and this tends to be pushed aside to keep room for old, nuclear and gravitational theory. These are good theories but they tend to not explain a lot with the characteristics of the sun and earth’s connection to it. There’s probably answers in the mix of theories but paradigms aren’t easily given room to expand unless they hold tight to the current paradigm.

Lucky for me, I’m not a physicist nor an astronomer so I have the freedom to find the answers that I find help me answer those tough questions and most of all, to question the science itself and allow other theories to ferment in my head and dismiss or include them for myself. I am of the belief that the earth is round and gravity holds us to it. I just don’t believe gravity is the greatest force in the universe that holds everything together and creates new entities. I am a skeptic about blackhole theory and all the fantasy that has been drawn up to expand the definition which completely defies their original definition. Laws are laws and breaking laws to create new entities before observing these entities and then pointing at what we consider an anomaly as proof of observing the theoretical entity is for me, a big stretch. It’s too bad science isn’t conclusive to challenges within it’s walls because there are many prominent and very intelligent people who have proven the current paradigm (Big Bang) wrong. Halton Arp is one of these great people and I hope anyone who reads this will research him for themselves and see what he was researching and finding. A true inspiration for using observation to push a theory instead of the other way around.

Now I gotta get out and take some more photos. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Aurora October 19-22

Finally some clear skies!! Last weekend we finally had some clear skies in conjunction with a geomagnetic storm. Not an enormously strong geomagnetic storm but significant enough for me to finally try out my new camera. This event was caused by a coronal hole which pushed a solar wind exceeding 600km/second. The aurora lasted a couple days and was followed up this past week with an increased geomagnetic storm but alas, I had cloudy skies.

The weekend of this event was a good one. My friend and I were out shooting this and the day afterward we went out on a photography excursion just driving around the nearby villages and driving down unfamiliar dirt roads. It’s something  a father with two young kids seldom seems to have time for but is gold when it happens.

One of the pictures is of the Andromeda Galaxy. I’m only an amateur photographer and I make no money from my photos (yet ;-D) so my equipment quiver is meager at best. My friend lets me borrow his 40mm macro lens which I used to shoot Andromeda. I really love my camera which is a Canon 6D. It’s a HUGE step up for me from what I had been using previously. So I want to give a shout out to Canon for providing such great equipment that allows me to experiment and explore the infinite realm of expression through photography and capturing those things people (myself included) tend to not acknowledge or have never seen or experienced for themselves.

 

 

Below are screenshots of the charts which show when and how powerful the aurora was. Not all of the charts I use compliment each other by the degree of power. I think this has a lot to do with the global position these measurements are detected. Kiruna is the information I lean on the most since those measurements are made not far from where I live. NASA and NOAA are a great source for predictive auroral events but they are less sensitive, I find, to geomagnetic activity.