Up here in the north we have a reputation for amazing Aurora Borealis shows to offset the extreme cold of the winters we get, but here's a secret: One of my favourite times to catch the northern lights is in the summer!
Living north of the 55th parallel means that much of our summer is too light during the evening hours to see much, and I have to admit, I love having light until nearly midnight for much of the summer. That being said, I have seen some of the most amazing shows in late August when the dark sky begins to return to the north.
It's often cooled down enough to feel more like fall, and there's no bugs, so to sit by a campfire into the wee hours of the morning and watch the lights dance is very often a nice, comfortable, bug-free experience. Especially when compared to freezing your toes off in -45C or colder, which I have done many, many times.
For several years my boyfriend and I have rented the same Yurt at Paint Lake Provincial Park for a few nights in late August (yay yurts!) and this was the first time in 5 years that we didn't get an amazing show of northern lights. It's still an active time of year, but this year, both nights we sat out the sky was covered completely by clouds.
Sometimes if I set my camera up on a night like this I can still tell if there's a green glow behind the clouds, but not this time. It was either too dense, or, they just weren't active enough for the camera to pick up any colour. (We still enjoyed our evenings by the fire!) So if you're ever camping in late summer in northern Manitoba, look up! You might just see a great show! Also, if you haven't checked out a yurt yet, I highly recommend the experience!
All of the photos below were taken in late August, most at Paint Lake, at or near the Yurts, with one taken in Sasagiu rapids campground.