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Exploring the night at Shaver’s Creek

Have you been outside at night lately?  There is no better time to take a relaxed nighttime hike to explore your surroundings than right now!

Dusk at Shaver's CreekThe warm summer air fills your lungs as the sun sets over the central Pennsylvania mountaintops.  The chirps and buzzing of insects creates a symphony all around you.  One by one tiny stars flick their light on high above.  The moon glows in the dimming sky and you the adventurer decide to take your first brave steps into the unknown.

If you are lucky you will see some of our dwindling bat population take off into the night in search of a bountiful insect feast.  Passing by an open meadow you take in the sight of our state insect painting the scenery with the soft glow of their bioluminescence.  Thousands of tiny lights flashing, calling to each other, looking for a friend to share the summer night with.

The sky is painted black and littered with tiny holes of penetrating light.  You amplify the sounds of the night by cupping your hands softly behind your ears.  The bright colors of the daylight are now replaced by shadowy outlines and dark shapes.  Each step becomes more deliberate.  Every touch awakens a new sensation to your fingertips.

You come to a resting spot and lie down in the cool wet grass.  Closing your eyes you allow your surroundings to engulf you completely into the madness and chaos of the night.  You take a deep breath and open your eyes to the dark void and it hits you that never has the world seemed like a bigger place and you such a small part of it.

Gazing deeply into the heavens above you feel so distant to everything else in the universe.  Yet at the same time a feeling of connection exists.  You remember a secret told to you long ago, before you were even an idea in your ancestors mind.  You are linked on a deep fundamental level that transcends blood, sweat, and tears.  You remember that you come from the same energy that exists in all forms of life.  We are all stardust drifting around in the cosmos and tonight you are reminded of that ancient relationship that has existed longer than our capacity to understand.

Have fun exploring the night!

Mark “Aditsan” McCuen

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