Sun, Stars and the Night Sounds
I find myself turning off my headlamp after checking the nets for owls!! There is nothing like walking through the woods in the absolute darkness. It’s only you and the sparkling stars which are leading you back to the banding station. Yes, I slip in the mud, crunch in the frozen leaves and even trip over twigs, but there is no way I would have wanted to miss that green shooting star streaking across the sky. Looking up, I see my favorite star cluster which takes me back to the main part of the road. Hmmm ….. Oooo ….. wait…… what is that cluster called??? Ugg, I can never remember those star names!!
When you find yourself in total darkness, your other senses take control. What are those squeaking sounds?? Isn’t this where I always see that Peromyscus mouse looking for food in the mud?? What’s that smell?? Are those Geese down on the lake?? No wait, that’s a pack of coyotes vocalizing?? Quickly, headlamp comes on; flash light come out from the pocket; I start walking quicker.
This is the coldest it has been since early November when we were hit with the lake effect snow. Even with the sun out today, the temperatures never got above 37 degrees F. I seriously considered taking the day off of work to get out enjoying the sun. But, I continued the numerous projects that I was working on and dreamed about the possibilities of catching a fluff ball tonight.
The past two nights had perfect North West winds which resulted in no birds. Now tonight we had light South West winds and resulted in catching three Northern Saw-whet Owls. One of which was a foreign recaptured bird (originally banded by someone else) from Ontario Canada in 2005. Isn’t it amazing that I can report a band number to the Bird Banding Lab and within seconds have its life history? Then again, isn’t it amazing your all reading my blog and finding out what I have been up to??
BTW: I remember now, Cassiopeia is the star cluster which I love! Why can’t I remember this Queens name?? You think I would remember!!
Sure sounds like the life Tom. It’s been way too long since I “got back to nature”. You’re making me very jealous : )
22 November 2006 at 1:53 am
Cassiopeia is my favorite constellation too! I always think of it as the giant “W” in the sky. 🙂 You did an excellent job describing the profound darkness. I know exactly what you mean by your other senses kicking in! I can remember every single time I’ve ever been in total darkness like that. It’s exhilharating and wonderful and scary all at the same time.
22 November 2006 at 2:31 am
Made time to come here after all……it sounds wonderful Tom, the worst part about living in the city is never seeing the Stars. You described it perfectly.
So glad you caught some owls too, especially one banded in Ontario 😉
22 November 2006 at 6:41 am
Stars? You mean they are still in the sky? With all the Detroit area light pollution I never really get to see them. Oh, to live in the country would be nice. However there would have to be a Macy’s, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc…. On second thought, maybe I will just stick with the city. 🙂
22 November 2006 at 7:58 am
Glad to hear you got two more. How exciting… At this rate you’ll be keeping the nets up until Christmas 🙂
22 November 2006 at 8:45 am
@ Neesflynn – Nature always comes back to me!! But I do have a fun life! There are things which I miss out on!
@ Heather, Thanks and she is such a wonderful series of stars! I had fun experiencing the dark!
@ Marg, still no idea where in Ontario but I am very happy also! No, get out of the city and check out some stars!
@ Jason – lots of stars, I think you need to get out of the city also!! There is nothing like seeing so many sparkles up in the sky!
@Jeremy – I doubt that I will be open that long but another week or two would be nice! I need to start catching up on my sleep and many other things that need to get done! I also want to get out and start taking pictures!
22 November 2006 at 6:39 pm