Twilight hiking reveals nature’s night owls

November 11, 2011

To some, daylight saving time means losing an hour of sunshine. But to Crissy Field Park Ranger Fatima Colindres, it means more opportunities to explore the night. 

Twilight walks are among the park’s most popular activities, and Colindres treks with groups under the dark sky twice a month. 

“There’s something about the dark that makes it popular,” she said. “It’s a different experience, a different world, using different senses, and being outside at night make it even more special.”

Colindres leads the group in what becomes a night full of learning, exploration, and “stories that go with the nighttime experience.” She likes to talk about what’s in bloom and points out traces of wildlife. Raccoons, foxes, owls – and on rare occasions even coyotes – sometime make an appearance.  

“It’s safer for wildlife to come out, hunt, look for prey without being disturbed,” said Colindres.  

Colindres often tells Native American stories relating to medicinal uses of native plants in the Crissy Field area. People leave the hike saying, “I didn’t know plants had a story. I see them differently now,” Colindres says. 

Tonight’s full moon hike is already full. But check out these other opportunities to stroll beneath the stars:

Twilight marsh walk on Nov. 12.

Astronomy in the Park on Nov. 17.

Candlelight tours on Nov. 19.

 Winter Solstice on Dec. 17. 

 Also visit Golden Gate Park’s December calendar for upcoming events.

About the Author

Eric Galan is a Bay Nature editorial intern.