|All eyes (image from the Internet)|
The sky cooperated beautifully last night, giving us great views of the moon and some interesting checkered patterns created by the subtly illuminated clouds. Also, while it was a bit breezy, the temperature was perfect for the walk - mid 60s.
As I was leaving the office yesterday afternoon, I lamented to a co-worked that I had to lead the walk last night and that I'd have to make sure that none of the clumsy walkers tripped in a groundhog hole. Well, none of the walkers fell into a hole, but honest to goodness, I did, and I went down on my back. Boy, did I feel stupid, but nothing other than my pride was hurt.
In an effort to spot something - anything - during the walk, I shined my strong flashlight into some of the meadows alongside the trail. No deer, coyotes, or foxes, but the light did reflect off a tiny "something" in the grass. It was a pinprick of brilliant green light. I left the trail, keeping the light shining on my "quarry" all the while. When I got right up to the spot, the reflection disappeared (the angle of the light had shifted so the pinprick was no longer reflecting anything). I searched and searched, but couldn't see anything until I finally spotted a wolf spider among the grass. Sure enough, its eye(s) were reflecting green. Neat! After I spotted the first spider, we started to see them everywhere, which gave the group something to look for.
Near the end of the walk, I shined my light into an open meadow often favored by deer. We saw two green eyes burning back at us. The eyes blinked, and then whatever it was walked away. The eyes were forward-facing; I suspect they were a fox or coyote rather than a deer.
Everyone seemed satisfied by the walk, but I'm inevitably disappointed when I lead these night walks. We never see any animals (we're too noisy), we never hear any owls, and the sky is too bright from the reflected lights of the city to see any constellations. It's hard to think of things to say to the participants, but most of them just seem to enjoy walking outside creating their own moon shadows.