Darkness is a relative thing, that is, until you’re in it! Both pictures are near the Driftwood Valley area not all that far from our property. The trees here are lined somewhat close together and there was a section of pines nearby that were so dense it almost appeared like night in the daytime.

The photograph at night shows this same area but with little moonlight that night it was extremely dark. The pine section was almost pitch black. The boys of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club couldn’t believe their eyes as to how dark it was. On that trip, since we were off our property, we did bring flashlights and, at times, they were quite necessary.

When the boys were almost totally quiet they could focus in on the sounds of the forest. That is educational to say the least because when one develops the proper hearing you can almost hear a pine needle drop from a tree. One of the boys heard the lapping of water and I told them we were less than a quarter of a mile from the Little Manistee River. After a few minutes of total quiet some of the other boys heard the same thing.

It was neat watching the boys react to the same area on separate hikes during the day and night. I should have done this project more on other trips but this was a one time experience for those kids and I am sure they have never forgot it.