Point taken: In celebration of darkness
Listen to our hour 'In defense of darkness' here.
The world thrives and depends on nighttime. Recently, we explored why Earth needs darkness just as much as it needs light.
We asked listeners in the On Point VoxPop app to go outside at night with their phones and describe what they saw and heard.
Here’s what On Point listeners shared:
Karen McMillen, Crescent City, CA
"Late at night, I opened my front bedroom window to look out upon what looks to be a scene from a lovely black and white vintage film. All shapes and shadows, or shades of muted gray or inky black, except for a full moon's marked path of shimmered light from horizon to shore like a searchlight across the skin of the sea. The ocean hums and hums a low key as it ebbs and flows.
"It has already put my husband to sleep. His breathing is as rhythmic and soft as the sea hum. Light gusts of tangy, foggy wind from the south cool one cheek. I live where the Pacific Ocean meets land, or California meets the Oregon border. I like looking out to the sea at night as if turning my back to the strife and struggle of our human world behind me.
"But it's crabbing season now and the bright lights from the local boats scatter across the horizon in the wee hours of the morning. These lights are called the string of pearls. Yet another gift of the sea to our town."
‘All shapes and shadows, or shades of muted gray or inky black.'
Steven Ford, Steinkjer, Norway
"I have the lights of the town and I have a large aurora overhead coming down from the north. We have a horizontal band, and then a curl. ... And it's just absolutely magical. It's slow, but it's dancing.
"It's all very bright green. ... But I have a lot of light pollution from the town. I'm looking north and west. I have a new bright spot there towards the north. And it is spectacular."
‘I have the lights of the town and I have a large aurora overhead.'
Beth Abbey, Espanola, NM
"I look outside, and I can see very little tonight. I can normally see all of the stars and constellations, but clouds are blocking my view tonight. What I can hear are the coyotes in the distance, doing a roll call to establish where they are.
"Their families can find them, and then the dogs chime in and let them know where they are. Last, I hear the drip, drip, drip of some gutter that I have neglected for way too long. Oh, there's the hot tub cycling on base. We're not animals out here!"
‘I can hear ... the coyotes in the distance, doing a roll call.'
Jennifer Comeau, Kennebunkport, ME
"Here in southern Maine, I can catch the roar of a nearby dam that spills into the briny saltwater marsh that leads out to Goose Fair Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, just a half mile as the crow flies and the water is roaring from snowpack. The birds have gone to sleep, and I walk on the remnants of the last snowfall, my feet crunching.
"Even as we await another one that's coming tomorrow, a nor'easter. I know to the west of me, Mars shines its rusty red in the night sky, even though it is hidden by clouds. And I know the moon, in its waning few days from a new moon, is also hidden. Yet I feel its presence."
‘Mars shines its rusty red in the night sky.'
Heidi Perkins, Liberty, ME
"I feel the snow blasting around my face, my ears, across my glasses. Even though it's dark out. I'm wearing my glasses. I can hear the wind. I have a metal roof and I can hear the snow falling off the roof.
"I don't hear any animals tonight cause it's too windy and there's too much snow falling. We've already got about … ten inches of snow in the last 5 hours. I'm hoping it's the last snowstorm of the season, but I love the sound of the wind."
‘I feel the snow blasting around my face, my ears … my glasses.'