Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sun Setting in a Bank of Smoke, 1917; Watercolor on paper, 21 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches; Image courtesy of DC Moore Gallery
Charles Burchfield, Journals, August 12, 1939
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I forgot to mention the Aurora Borealis which were brilliantly visible on Friday night.—B&I first noticed them coming down Orchard ave on our return from a walk. At that time, they appeared as ling flattened arch of phosphorescent luminance low in the northern sky.
On our return home, we routed the three youngest out of bed to see the sight. I tool them (clad in slippers and bathrobes) in the car, up to East & North Aves.
Later, when we got home, they lights changed in character; —the arches, or bows of light gradually swelled upward, and parted into several separate bows, and we were interspersed with irregular streaks, spreading fanwise, constantly changing in intensity; sometimes shafts burning forth brilliantly green. The arches spread, to far south the zenith. The light was so strong that the northern sides of houses were luridly lit up, and even shadows were cast on the ground.
At times meteors, turned red in character by the “lights,” streaked across the sky.
Charles Burchfield, August 12, 1939