Here’s something else I love about Alaska, although this is not exclusive to Alaska: The light from the moon reflects off the snow and creates a brightness that doesn’t exist where there is no snow. It’s bright enough to walk outside without any other light source, and without worrying about bumping into a moose. I remember in the arctic, when we lost the sun completely for about 7 weeks, how it sometimes felt brighter at night than it did during the day. I’m sure it was sometimes, though weather played a part in that.
And the moonlight is beautiful! Rugged mountains, the glacier, snow-laden spruce trees, light and shadow, all in a monochrome night-blue.
Something we never have in Alaska, however, are dark, warm nights. We revel dark, warm nights when we travel. When it’s warm in Alaska, it’s never dark. And when it’s dark in Alaska, it’s never warm.
Which would I rather have? All of them.
Moonlight is an incredible thing. It’s one of the elements I love in your Let There Be Night series. The absence of moonlight can also be spectacular.
One night, when flat water canoeing in Canada, we were awakened by what turned out to be a porcupine scratching for insects in the wood of a fallen outhouse at our campsite. That was interesting, but the wonder was that it was in the very wee hours of the morning. The moon had set and the lake was completely still. The stars were reflected in the surface and the silence (once our marauding friend had wandered on- no doubt disgusted by our intrusion on his solitude) went on forever. Eventually a loon began its maniacal laughter. We returned to sleeping bags in silence. There just weren’t words for such profound beauty. Thirty years later, I still recall it in detail.