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Meissa

Night time fear

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As Spike put it,

Bump

Things that go 'bump' in the night

Should not really give one a fright.

It's the hole in each ear

That lets in the fear,

That, and the absence of light!

Night Owl Nick.

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I tried having headphones in, but honestly, not hearing scares me more than actually hearing strange sounds :huh: There must be something wrong with me... :blink:

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Don't worry about the animals, it's the Zombies you have to watchout for. :evil::grin:

That really doesn't help :eek::grin:

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My main hobby is mountain biking and a few years ago I started going on mid-week night rides (at first solo, then with 1 or 2 others). At first riding through 'remote' areas and especially through the woods after 'proper' dark took a bit of getting used to. The noises and animals I came across eg owls, deer, badgers, frogs, cattle etc seemed as surprised by me as I was of them. After a while I adjusted, got used to the sounds, realised that there probably wasn't a bogeyman and pretty sure that there was nothing out there interested in me.

Nowadays I love night riding as much as day riding, especially in the winter on clear starring nights. It is something you just get used to and in my experience then embrace. I do though recommend that you always have a torch in your pocket, usually to find something you have dropped or just to give you confidence.

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There isn't that much up in the Fens to be worried about at night. Probably the worst is the Fen's Glider. :grin:

Silent, deadly and can jump on you from the ground but prefer to drop on you from the trees. :evil:

They run fast, so can come out of bushes and ground cover, less then half a second is all the warning you might get. :eek:

They have good low light vision and also see in the Infra Red, so they will see you from some distance off. :mad:

They live in the area called The Glider Triangle, formed by March, Spalding and Kings Lynn. :Envy:

They have a good side, they keep the number of zombies down, so less chance of them being a problem. :shocked:

They are a combination of a 6ft flying squirrel, chameleon and vampire. They glide out of a tree, wrap themselves around you to muffle the screams and alter colour to camoflage themselves and start nibbling your neck. Some are a bit odd, they land upside down, I will not say where they bite. :confused:

Off to think up another beastie now, this could be fun. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Edited by ronin

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Fen's Glider :grin: I'm laughing now, but I bet I will remember it on my next observation :Envy:

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I tried having headphones in, but honestly, not hearing scares me more than actually hearing strange sounds :huh: There must be something wrong with me... :blink:

I think the root of my anxieties is the loss of my primary sense, vision.

I'm with you on the headphones. They just take away another sense.

Many millions of years ago when I was in the 1st year of high school my favorite teacher was our English teacher. But one day she asked us to discuss the loss of either hearing or sight and write about which one we would prefer to keep if we had to lose one.

Very thought provoking but a no brainer for me. I could still work and live a reasonably normal life without hearing.

She, on the other hand, stated that she'd rather keep her hearing and talked about the loss of social function etc.

I just can't fathom that. I can't imagine living without at least rudimentary vision....

Edited by Paul M

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Think I would like my vision best, although I cannot see much without my glasses. :shocked:

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Hi Meissa,

I really know what you're going through! I've always felt a bit like you, except that I have never been afraid of any supernatural beings (or non-beings :eek: ). In fact, I used to live next to the village graveyard - no problem. But I was always scared of burglers or murderes entering the garden. During daytime I usually looked forward to my nightly projects, but then as night time approached, I would start to come up with excuses: "Ahh, it's too cloudy (two water molecules just above the horizon), the moon shines too bright tonight (gibbous moon disappeared below the horizon less than two hours ago), It's too windy - the scope will shiver almost as much as me (a tree leaf moved a bit)" and so on.

I don't feel like that any more. Now I have a ROR observatory and it makes me feel safe (even though our house had visits from burglers twice within the last five years). Perhaps you could try to make a fence or similar around you, giving you a "safe" place to do your observations? It doesn't have to be something fancy, just something that would make it impossible for someone to stand behind your back without you noticing it.

Clear nights,

Thommy

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I tried having headphones in, but honestly, not hearing scares me more than actually hearing strange sounds :huh: There must be something wrong with me... :blink:

Seems perfectly normal to me, I'd hate that. Hearing can tell you a lot, if you really listen.

Honestly, my main fear at night is other people and very few of them traipse around the countryside using no light (unless you're near somewhere the army use, I guess). I figure I'll hear or see them before they know about me, which has led to the odd startled dog walker, despite my trying to be obvious to them. Other than that, my main concern is inquisitive cows; they always look like they're scheming something, and they're bigger than I am.

Despite that, sometimes the hairs on the back of my neck go up. I take a deep breathe, look around, listen ... and invariably find nothing.

I dislike packing up the most; I'm making noise, and using light.

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in extremesis, I (plus portable setup) once ordered a taxi at 1 a.m. to a local cemetery to observe. The biggest obstacle (aside from the cost!) was that the driver (whole town?) clearly thought (announced over the airwaves) that I was Nuts! :D

With no particular FEAR of "natural" stuff, a general anxiety re. (errant) people / idiots rather ruined my observing experience. The option of running is limited if you have a (relatively) "expensive" scope in tow?

Ultimatey I moved / built and observatory. Other than that I do recommend cemetaries... Flat tombstones to support a tripod. I am sure the occupant wouldn't mind overmuch... ;)

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in extremesis, I (plus portable setup) once ordered a taxi at 1 a.m. to a local cemetery to observe. The biggest obstacle (aside from the cost!) was that the driver (whole town?) clearly thought (announced over the airwaves) that I was Nuts! :D

With no particular FEAR of "natural" stuff, a general anxiety re. (errant) people / idiots rather ruined my observing experience. The option of running is limited if you have a (relatively) "expensive" scope in tow?

Ultimatey I moved / built and observatory. Other than that I do recommend cemetaries... Flat tombstones to support a tripod. I am sure the occupant wouldn't mind overmuch... ;)

My dark spot is the other side of a cemetery wall. A bit scary, but I won't let fear spoil my observing/photography.

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I am normally a bit of a worrier but I find the garden at night very calming. I find making a cup of tea and drinking that outside while waiting on the scope to cool down gets me used to the noises. Once i start observing I get so caught up in it, that I forget about being alone. I have a dog but he would rather be inside sleeping :grin: which is fine as he often knocks the telescope which wrecks the alignment!

- a padlock on the garden gate helps too :wink:

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I still get the heebie jeebies when I'm in the garden i don't think it ever goes away. Part animal/self preservation instinct. Even worse when in a strange location i find it good to gaze with a friend, have a cup of tea (or something stronger).

A good malt serves to dampen nerves and warm

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I love being out in the garden at night, I live on the outskirts of Halesowen and it quiet in the daytime and dead quiet at night. I have been visited by foxes, hedgehogs, neighbours cats, my cats, owls and bats (we used to get a badger come around to eat but the neighbours blocked his access :/ ) and I love it all.

I don't bother listening to music as I can remember huge amounts and play it back in my head - including the whole of The Snow Goose by Camel which I recommend if you haven't heard it, try listening to it and reading the short book by Paul Galico that inspired it.

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Worse sound ever at night and out of nowhere, 2 cats fighting at full belt. Fur all over the place, ginger and a black / white moggy.

Though that either the devil had landed or next door had run out of drink,

Nick.

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The rational mind is your biggest friend against the irrational mind. Probably the most dangerous thing anyone does is drive near their home, where most of the accidents happen. In a clear rational moment, think of the dangers you face when observing and then those you face when you drive, cross the road, etc etc. Do this carefully and you'll be terrified to do anything except observe in the dead of night...

Olly

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I cannot say I fear anything when I'm out. But at 6' 13 stone with a shaved head, personal security is never something I worry about. If I were a woman I might not be so care-free, and would think twice about sitting alone in the middle of a park at night. Of course, I grew up in a large North American city and have seen all manner of frightening things like street riots, gun fights between rival gangs and bodies falling from tall buildings, which tempers one's concept of fear/danger. I'm also used to camping in a vast, road-free wilderness accessible only by canoe or float plane, filled with bears, wolves, and the most dangerous of animals, moose (not kidding). The reality is that the mosquitoes and black flies will do you in long before any of the aforementioned beasties.

However, I do try to engage my friends in my pursuits. Not only does it provide security for my equipment, should I need the loo, but it introduces my mostly astrologically naive group to the night sky and provides me with company should the sky cloud over. When alone, my Bose Q15 noise-cancelling headphones allow for my complete immersion into the experience, as they create almost complete silence. They are also smart enough that if there is a sound much louder than the ambient noise of the environment, they shut off so you can hear what it is. I prefer to listen to punk/hip hop, electronica or bebop when I'm communing with starlight, but to each one's own.

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Having spent most of my life as a fisherman and more than 40 years of that a night fisherman, I can honestly say that there is nothing to fear of of the dark hours other than the fear we create ourselves, learn to enjoy it and you will learn far more in the dark than you will ever learn in the light... Remember to look up and enjoy...

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in extremesis, I (plus portable setup) once ordered a taxi at 1 a.m. to a local cemetery to observe. The biggest obstacle (aside from the cost!) was that the driver (whole town?) clearly thought (announced over the airwaves) that I was Nuts! :D

With no particular FEAR of "natural" stuff, a general anxiety re. (errant) people / idiots rather ruined my observing experience. The option of running is limited if you have a (relatively) "expensive" scope in tow?

Ultimatey I moved / built and observatory. Other than that I do recommend cemetaries... Flat tombstones to support a tripod. I am sure the occupant wouldn't mind overmuch... ;)

Reminds me of when I was a teenager, as a dare my friends and I climbed over our local cemetery wall and crept through the graveyard past the church.

Suddenly a pair of hands came out of the darkness and through the iron gates of the church door entrance.

We just screamed and ran for our lives.

A few days later the local vicar came to our school for a visit.

He recognised us and smiled saying “ I hope you had fun the other night? I was just about to go home when I heard you boys”.

We laughed then but at the time it was a different matter.

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... I can honestly say that there is nothing to fear of of the dark hours other than the fear we create ourselves,

That sums it up perfectly.

But even knowing that don't help! :)

learn to enjoy it and you will learn far more in the dark than you will ever learn in the light...

When I was younger I assumed I'd eventually grow out of some of my emotional peculiarities. Some I grew out of and others I grew into :D

Remember to look up and enjoy...

Always!

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Its not night time I fear, its going out by myself and being confronted by a load of yobs that go out looking to cause trouble. I have only just got my telescope so I haven't been out yet and I wont do by myself. I live in a flat so I have no garden to go out into and the path out the front of the flats is very busy. So I will wait until a meeting is organised.

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Spent 30yrs as a cop and over the years spent hundreds of nights foot patrolling industrial estates, town centres and residential areas. Generally anything thats likely to do you any harm is tucked up safely in bed and certainly wont be in your back garden or the secluded areas you're likely to frequent. Difficult psychological thing to get over though

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Its not night time I fear, its going out by myself and being confronted by a load of yobs that go out looking to cause trouble. I have only just got my telescope so I haven't been out yet and I wont do by myself. I live in a flat so I have no garden to go out into and the path out the front of the flats is very busy. So I will wait until a meeting is organised.

That's a shame.

When I was a boy I only had a 60mm refractor but it was my pride and joy. I often used it in our front yard which was open and on a rough council estate. There was not nearly as much trouble with yobs as there is today. Rough as they were, the locals had respect for their neighbours and the worst that would happen is that passers by would ask me what I was looking at.

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Its not night time I fear, its going out by myself and being confronted by a load of yobs that go out looking to cause trouble. I have only just got my telescope so I haven't been out yet and I wont do by myself. I live in a flat so I have no garden to go out into and the path out the front of the flats is very busy. So I will wait until a meeting is organised.

This is the same reason i won't go out to a dark site on my own, that isn't a pre arranged farmers field or similar. I'm not exactly a small guy but all it takes is one idiot to injure you and/or wreck/take your kit.

Speaking of Hedgehogs making alot of noise, i discovered on Friday night that a swift kick makes them stay there distance. Of course it was a complete accident, went out to check if it was clear, and walking back, felt my foot hit something. Unlucky for me i was only in socks, so it hurt like hell. But luckily, i won't have done much damage to the little guy as he was probably already in a ball before i was even close. I did feel bad all night though! Was going to put some milk in a little dish out as an apology but i forgot all about it lol.

Stay safe folks.

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