May 21, 2011

Sunday, 21 May 1911


Aurora australis display, here at Wellington, New Zealand, in November 2001. [1]

"Good weather," Amundsen wrote. "Still and clear -46° .... Tomorrow we will have the door to the entrance installed, and thereby the whole of this huge snow complex will be finished.... It is difficult to describe the beautiful scene I saw when I came out of my dog tent this afternoon. Low down on the S.W. horizon was the moon -- shining yellow -- just over the rooftop of our hut -- or snow mound. In the S.W. sky the Southern Lights played in many forms and colours -- and high up there one sees the Southern Cross among an army of glittering, shining worlds. Like a fairy tale, the big, pointed ... tents rise up, all illuminated as if in celebration.... If only I could paint -- if only I could." [2]


[1] Wikipedia.
[2] Roald Amundsen, diary, 22 May, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs, (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.114.

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