by Steve Moon
Why would anyone go for a walk in the woods when it’s dark out? Well, for one thing it’s rarely totally dark. There is almost always a bit of light in the woods, even on the darkest night. With some patience and practice it’s not hard to find your way in the dark, and there are things to see and hear at night that you don’t see during the daytime.
It’s important to become familiar with a trail or road during the daytime before attempting to hike it at night. There are little potholes that you can step into, and tree roots sticking up that can trip you. But if you hike a trail during the day and then come back at night to explore it again, you will remember where these hazards are. You can relax and enjoy the woods at night, as a whole new world opens up to you.
You will find that your eyes need to adjust to the darkness. At first you won’t be able to see well. But if you wait ten or fifteen minutes (or if you’re older a little longer) you will be able to see pretty well in the dark. If you are around flashlights or other artificial light sources, your eyes won’t have a chance to adjust to the darkness, so make sure that all lights are out! Cell phones and other devices also keep your eyes from being able to adjust to the darkness. So put those away as well. Have a light handy to use if necessary, but try not to. If you turn on a light your eyes will need to adjust to the darkness all over again.
Be sure to take an adult with you when you walk in the woods at night. This is for safety, of course. But also because it’s fun to watch them freak out. Adults have a harder time adjusting to darkness than do kids. Adult eyes don’t respond to light and dark as quickly or as well as young eyes do. Adults also don’t hear as well as young people. This may seem odd, but it’s very true.
So why go into the woods at night? You get to see what moonlight and starlight look like, and how the trees are illuminated by them. The moon reflecting off of water in a stream or pond can seem magical. Sounds seem much louder at night. And there are little bugs and other things that glow in the darkness that you will never see during the daytime.
The Lowlanders go out at night because it’s the only time they can see the glow of Bigfoot eyes. Bigfoot eyes glow—they really do! And if you are in the right place and are paying attention, you may be lucky enough to see the “eyeglow” of a Bigfoot. Bigfoot eyeglow can be red like a tail light, white, or blue like the sky. Some people say that they have seen green eyeglow. It’s hard to believe that the eyes of Bigfoot glow, but we know it’s true because we’ve seen it quite often in areas where we know Bigfoot are active.
When you do your daytime scouting for a night hike, pick an easy route at first, like a gravel road or two-track lane. The next time you go out, find a good developed trail, such as a popular hiking trail in a park. Next try a deer trail. If you have moonlight you can walk pretty much anywhere. Just take your time. You can’t be in a hurry in the woods at night! But you won’t want to be in a hurry because there is so much to see and hear.
Many animals that are out at night don’t come out as much during the day. Owls hoot all night long, but you rarely hear them during the day. Coyote yelp in the distance as they roam through the countryside. You will hear sticks snap and branches squeak. You might hear a Bigfoot call. They “whoop” and make knocking sounds. Sometimes they howl!
If you see or hear something that is not at all familiar or doesn’t make any sense, don’t worry. Just stand quietly and discuss what you see or hear with your hiking companions. It’s very important to say something if you see or hear something unusual. Maybe someone else in the group saw or heard the same thing. Or because you spoke up, they will watch and listen to see if they too observe what you have observed.
Make sure that you don’t talk all the time, because you will miss a lot of subtle or quiet sounds. Practice being still and quiet for a while. The longer you remain quiet the greater your chance of hearing wildlife at night.
The more you hike at night the easier it will be, and the less afraid you will be. You will gain confidence in your ability to walk in darkness. You will develop a new skill to be proud of and that will also help you feel stronger and braver. And sharing the darkness with your companions will be a lot of fun. So go forth into the darkness and discover nature at night!
Lowlands Bigfoot Research Group