I still haven’t tracked down that owl– but I’m sure it’s there! The tricky part is that the stands of densest vegetation within the parks that might make for the most tantalizing wildlife habitat are also where one is most likely to come across someone’s camp. I’m sympathetic, of course, but mostly I just err on the side of keeping my distance. As such, I’m not very familiar with most of Seattle’s nocturnal wildlife. I know we have raccoons, but do we have nighthawks? Bats? What kind of interesting moths might be out there? The cover of night might not make for the most visual of birding outings, but with the more subdued city noise, one can sometimes hear the calls of the various night critters with more clarity.
But, mostly I stay out of the parks at night. I don’t know that there’s any genuine danger afoot, but I feel like it’s a world of hooliganism, teenage make-outs, cruising, and illicit commerce once the stars come out. I have a suspicion that none of these things are interesting in having me traipse around as a spectator, so I stay home, or limit my ambles to the street-lit thoroughfares of the neighborhood. It seems like the polite thing to do, if not perhaps the safe thing too.