Last Friday, I had the chance to put into practice the writing lesson I mentioned in last week’s prompt and dive into the setting in which my family and I found ourselves in when we visited a local park for an owl hunt with a naturalist.
As we walked through the woods, and the naturalist called to the owls, I tried to immerse myself in the setting, using all of my senses. I couldn’t take notes at the time, but here are my impressions.
- Stars glitter in the black sky
- Almost full moon throws moon shadows
- Boots squeak on the thin layer of snow.
- No smells
- Moon ignites ice-encased tree branches, making them sparkle
- Trees not directly in moonlight twinkle, like stars caught here and there on their branches, or the branches sparsely decorated with Christmas lights.
- Moonlight can look sinister, like a bad imitation of sunlight
Another sense to add to the customary five is the feeling a setting gives me. Walking through those glittering trees, I didn’t want to miss one beautiful aspect. I kept looking and looking. I was overcome with a sense of wonder, reveling in the beauty of God’s nature, in awe of how He didn’t have to make nature so breath-taking.
Because of the feelings this setting evoked, I will probably use it in a scene where my main character feels the same. I did have one observation that didn’t fit with my sense of awe, how the moonlight can look sinister. If I want to exploit that aspect of it for a different scene, I’ll need to either revisit the experience in my head or head out on another night hike. I like that latter idea better.
Have you hiked in snowy woods at night? How would you dive into this setting?