Nebraska Project WILD


Snow Light January 3, 2018

I woke up the other morning to an actual temperature of -21 degrees.  That wasn’t with wind chill! As I stood romanticizing the snow swept landscape from my front window…next to my wood stove…in my pajamas…with a hot cup of coffee…I pondered how I could possibly extend to you readers the luxuries of our extended night and using it to our advantage for dark-day outdoor adventures.   I do believe this is one of those ‘walk the walk’ moments. 892257_10202737935274929_706561194_oSo that evening I geared up to check on my chicken survival rate, to gather food in the style of split mulberry wood for my stove and to report back on my dark-day outdoor adventure.

Here are a few things that stuck with me that I hope can be used for dark-day outdoor adventure inspiration for grown-ups and kiddos alike:

  1. The winding down of 2017 brought with it a moon rise occurring in late afternoon, just a couple of days off from the full moon that would occur on New Year’s Day. With that celestial bulb dominating the night sky by 6:00 pm there was practically no need for a head lamp or flashlight.  The blanket of snow reflected moonlight all around allowing me to easily find my way.
  2. Silence can be loud. It was truly a lack of sensory experience. Like actually being on the moon, or Hoth for those Star Wars fans out there.  No wind, no sound but the crunch under my boots.  Almost sneaking along as not to disturb the perfect stillness.
  3. My tiny little solar lights that I stuck in the ground this summer were now illuminating a glow of snow light. Inspiration hit in the form of a glow-stick scavenger hunt.  Just chuck them about in the snow and have the kiddos hunt for them.

Due to the temperatures in the negative double digits I was only out for 20 to 30 minutes, but it was worth it.  My fingers and toes eventually got cold but moving around in my gear kept the bulk of my body warm.  These quick but mighty adventures can help stave off cabin fever and restless kiddos while making memories that last a life time.

The full moon was just two days ago. The moon rise this evening, January 3rd, is around 7:00 pm.  By that time we will have full-on dark and a just waning moon.  Gear up with friends or family to watch, then head into the warm for a hot drink.  Winter weather just began folks.  We still have a way to go until the birth and light of spring.

Embrace the winter.



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