Beauty of the Beasts

When the sun goes down, Lake County goes wild with its furry, feathered, and scaly friends.

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The wilderness goes wild tonight as families commune with nocturnal creatures at the fourth annual Nature at Night in Willoughby Hills. Spectators will get to meet reclusive residents like a great horned owl, black rat snake, tree frog, and opossum. "Many of our common animals are only active at night," says Barb Burko, a naturalist at the North Chagrin Nature Center. "Time spent outdoors in the late evening is full of surprises."For starters, there's the flying squirrel, which can give the YouTube prairie dog a run for its money. "It is the only nocturnal squirrel in our area and is common but seldom seen," says Burko. "It is a rare treat to catch glimpses of this small squirrel that can glide from tree to ground with outstretched arms and appear to fly through the air."You can also take a guided nature walk by moonlight, build constellations in a glow-in-the-dark tent, climb through a giant spider's web, and listen to folklore by the fire. There will also be an interactive maze of critter trivia that'll get you to the exit with every correct answer. "It's good to get people excited and moving around," says Burko. "We want people to realize there is a fascinating world that takes place in our own backyards after the sun goes down." Find out from 5 to 11 tonight at the North Chagrin Nature Center, 3037 SOM Center Road in Willoughby Hills. Admission is free. Call 216-352-6300 or visit
Sat., July 19, 5-11 p.m., 2008
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