Notes from the Classroom: Discover a New World After Dark
July 16, 2022
by Jake Kelly, Development & Marketing Intern
A crescent moon shines through the clouds overlooking the maritime forest
When the sun sets on Bald Head Island, there is a new world to discover. Larger eyes & lenses, ear adaptations, smell, chemical receptors and echolocation all dominate the night. During the Bald Head Island Conservancy’s Bald Head After Dark Program, participants have the opportunity to discover the island’s nightlife, often up close and personal, and witness creatures who utilize these special adaptations to survive.
After a 30-minute presentation on the nocturnal (and diurnal) life on the island, two education interns lead a 30-minute presentation prior to their trek around the island, where they will make their way along a beachside drive as the sun sets. They are also taken to places such as Kent Mitchell, an NC Reserve Trail to stand beside the Timmons Oak and the Wildlife Overlook. If guests are lucky, they’ll be able to witness the milky way and a sky blanketed with stars alongside the marsh, finding squareback crabs along the way.
Education Intern Callie Moyers holds a Squirrel Tree Frog
You never know what you’ll see and discover while walking through the dark. Alligators become visible under the glow of a red flashlight due to their nictitating membrane. White Tailed Deer gather on the dunes and in the forest, looking for food. Choruses of frogs can be heard and be seen leaping about in the Villas. Fiddler crabs may have retired to their holes for the night, but squareback crabs are scuttling across the boardwalk, even climbing trees! While we sleep, so much of Bald Head is waking up with an excited energy.
Bald Head After Dark programs run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to interact with the wildlife on the island and learn from our education team about different species, behaviors and nature hotspots. Join us after dark at bhic.org/experience/programs.
The Bald Head Island Conservancy (BHIC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 that exists to discover, learn, conserve, and preserve. The Conservancy is located in a unique area within the Smith Island Complex which includes Bald Head, Middle and Bluff Islands, all of which are bounded by the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean.