Monday, September 15, 2003

Night Hiking

My wife took me away on a mystery weekend away this past weekend. This means that I did not know where we were going, only that I was paying for it. We parked at Fall Creek Falls state park in Tennesee. This state park has a interesting system of gorges as its centerpiece. Very nice!

Since the place and area were new, we opted to take 2 guided hikes. The first was at night. The trail was paved so we could concentrate on what could be seen, rather than closely inspecting each step for the unseen perils of rocks and roots. It was on this hike, that I learned a new delightful fact.

If you take a hand-held flash light and rest it below your nose on your upper lip, you just happen to now have a beam of light that will return the reflection of the beam from the eyes of critters. It also turns out that the most plentiful critters that this works on are spiders. I did this, panning my beam slowly over some dead leaves, until a tiny green speck of light appeared. Keeping this little speck in view as I walked toward it soon revealed a tiny spider on a leaf. Before long we had found sections with dozens of green specks looking back.

By the end of this hike, we had spotted three deer in the forest, two bullfrogs by the lake, and one racoon in a tree. Each was first spotted by the reflection of its eyes coming back from a flashlight pressed on the upper lip.

I returned too late to work on Job


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