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Poetic Thoughts Regarding Night Vision
by Tim Baskerville

Upon returning from another glorious Full Moon Photographic trip to Death Valley recently, I came across this passage in the book Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. With the spectacular light and sky of the trip still in my mind, I was able to particularly relish his poetic thoughts on 'night vision' here - and thought I'd share it with you.

"I take my walking stick, and go for a stroll down the road into the thickening darkness. I have a flashlight with me but will not use it, unless I hear some sign of animal life worthy of investigation. The flashlight, or electrical torch as the English call it, is a useful insturment in certain situations but I can see the road well enough without it. Better, in fact.

"There's another disadvantage to the use of the flashlight: like many other mechanical gadgets it tends to separate a man from the world around him. If I switch it on, my eyes adapt to it and I can see only the small pool of light which it makes in front of me; I am isloated. Leaving the flashlight in my pocket, where it belongs, I remain a part of the environment I walk through and my vision, though limited, has no sharp or definite boundary."

(Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, pg. 15. Ballantine Books, ©1968. ISBN 0-345-32649-0)