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Letter to the Editor: Winter Nights and Lights

As some of the birds and residents migrate south, many of us will remain here for the winter to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenes and marvels that Door County has to offer; fresh snow, cozy evening fires, and catching up with friends and neighbors at the wonderful venues which stay open for the season. For all we do during this time, much of it is in darkness. The winter sky reigns above us at night with spectacular stars and the occasional aurora borealis for an evening’s finale. Light pollution and artificial light at night not only have an impact on the viewing of the night sky but it can disturb the natural state of wildlife, including humans.

With respect to that, please take a moment to examine your winter lighting practices. Consider the impact of no leaves on the trees and the reflection of snow. Be sure your lights are doing what you need them to do. Is the light properly targeting the area you want lit? Is it shining into your neighbor’s windows? Is it pointing upward, outward, or causing too much of a glare? Is the porch light on all night in fact a sign no one is home? With the technology that is available now, it has become much more economical and feasible to accurately address the concerns that cause us to light the outside of our homes at night. With a little reflection (no pun intended) and some thoughtful adjustments, we can maximize our safety and security while minimizing the light pollution around Door County this winter. Visit darksky.org for more information.

Bonnie Ansley

Fish Creek, Wis.

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