The lunar phase called “new moon” is when the moon is between the earth and the sun, obscuring the moon's reflected light. The new moon is significant to many religions and cultures, signifying a new month or even a new beginning. Taking a cue from the new moon, the City of Irvine and Irvine Ranch Conservancy are offering a new hike that takes place in the total darkness produced by this lunar phase.
“Sounds of the Night in Orchard Hills” is the opposite of the full moon hikes – rather than your eyes adjusting to the brightness of the full moon, the new moon casts no light. The hike will move slowly, wandering through Orchard Hills in Irvine. Although there are some ups and downs walking through the hills, it is not strenuous, and it will be an easy to moderate hike for most.
This hike is for participants 18 and over, and certainly not for anyone afraid of the dark. Red-tinted flashlights will be provided, to avoid scaring off animals with too much bright light. This docent-led activity will also be supported by trail guide volunteers, who will walk among and behind the group to assure no one gets lost along the way. Orchard Hills is a beautiful area that is at the edge of Irvine and adjacent to a working avocado orchard, so participants in these hikes are encouraged to come back and see the natural beauty when there’s a little more light. Hikers will gain an entirely different perspective in the full light of day.