Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Moon of Falling Leaves Ramble

All eyes (image borrowed from an Internet source)
The sky cooperated beautifully for our postponed-because-of-rain Full Moon Walk on the evening of Wednesday, October 8, giving 15 walkers 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 for the day a few hours before the walk, I mentioned to a co-worked that I had to lead the walk and that I'd have to make sure that none of the walkers tripped in a groundhog hole in the dark.  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 during the walk, I shined my strong flashlight into some of the meadows alongside the trail on Raytharn Farm.  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.  Cool!  After I spotted the first spider, we started to see them everywhere.

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 even though we didn't see any animals (we're too noisy), hear any owls, or observe any constellations because the sky was too bright from the reflected lights of the city.  Most people just seemed to enjoy the light of the moon reflected like quicksilver on Pennypack Creek  and walking outside creating their own moon shadows.

Submitted by David Robertson
Executive Director

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