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September 4th, 2008 - Two Steps Back

Back on August 9th, our last DigitalNature hike was a "Glow in the Dark" hike at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center Trails. Dusting off some pixels here reminded me that I hadn't posted anything from that eerie night.
It was a half-moon affair, the wind had finally dried out slightly from it's usual Dog-days swelter, but was still fervent and rocking the tripods, even at 8 PM. Insects chirped and buzzed, the cows from the sheep farm (!) up the hill had a poker game or something noisy going on.
The sunset over the marsh next to Long Meadow reminded me somewhat creepily of the moors in central UK, and the occasional deer and beaver scampering thru the woods always kept our heads snapping up. Whuzzat?
One triumph this time: we saw fireflies! Finally, finally, on a GITD hike we saw fireflies. If there are any bright specs on the pics that look like I didn't clean my equipment, they are probably fireflies.

It might look like a Hot Wheels track, but it's actually a Cyalume lightstick orbiting on a string from my tripod. This experiment had potential, but as soon as the bugs noticed we had lights and were holding them with our bare hands, they were all over us like a cheap mattress. We might have to revisit these ideas in a controlled environment.
Part of my UV rock collection and fluorescein dye bottle experiment.
Everyone definitely had a good time, and the amazing thing was, no one of the twelve brave souls in attendance had even been to the Refuge before. Bonus!
We will try to out-spook this hike again on October 26th, next time at Black Dog Park.
Sounds spooky already.

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