Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mr. Firefly Prepares for a Saturday Night Outing That Leads to An Interesting Evening - For Both of Us

Last evening we were sitting on our patio sipping a glass of wine when I noticed something fly on to a leaf in the corner of the garden. Most of us have seen fireflies from a distance, and even caught a few. But for some reason this one got my attention. So I went over and checked him out. He was not afraid, or he was too scared to move. He posed for several photos, and I got a video of him grooming his variegated antennae in preparation for the night ahead. He still sat on the same leaf in the same corner when we went inside for dinner. I thought it might be interesting to see if he was still there after dinner...and he was. I was hoping he would put on a light show as it was now heading in to dusk. I ran back in to get my phone, but he was gone. I sat down for a minute and then noticed a little light sparkle from the same corner. There he was again - in flight - right above the same leaf! I ran over to snap the video, but he moved through the slatted fence to the other side. I went through the gate to where he might still be and I found him climbing up the wood panel on the other side of the fence. I tried to take another photo, but he flew. I looked around for a few minutes in search of a flash of tiny light, but it was nowhere to be seen. A little disheartened, I went back and sat inside our little patio and looked around. For whatever reason I picked up my phone, and there he was sitting on the left upper corner of my phone! But he quickly flew to the hydrangea leaf in front of us, climbed on my finger, them jumped on to a thin day lily leaf. Once there, he climbed his way up, blinking his yellowish little light. When all of a sudden a second firefly emerged from its hiding place from the lower part of the same plant. What followed was what I was hoping for. The dance began...the two were flashing their lights at each other...he started flapping his wings, and she (I think) was acting very coy climbing back down the leaf. After a while, he either gave up trying to impress her or just fell off the leaf. But to my surprise he landed right on to my arm and lit up several times as he walked along it. The photos really don't tell the story, but both videos are on my LITDigitalPaintings Facebook web page. It would really be funny if he was outside on the leaf tonight. I learned a few things from this little experience: I don't have a lot to do on a Saturday night; even the tiniest creatures want to connect to one another or a friendly person who won't harm them; there was curiosity on both sides; I could have been an animal/insect behavior observer or photographer (my biology professor, Dr. Walter Tschinkel, from Florida State would be proud of me!); this is what children's books are made from. There was just something magical about this little creature, and I learned a lot about myself on this beautiful Saturday evening.

I also uploaded the sprucing up video and the light exchange video on YOU TUBE

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