Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You Light Up My Life

The past few weeks, Central Park at dusk has been thick with fireflies, winking like some kind of fairy convention below the dense green canopy of trees along the west side just inside the park above 86th Street. (I can't speak for the rest of New York's most incredible respite.)

Were they not there before? Or did I just spend less time in the park at that hour before I had a dog?

I just learned these fascinating facts about fireflies:
  • Many species are predators.
  • Their light emission is caused by an enzyme called luciferase, implying that at some point their bioluminesce was considered satanic.
  • One kind of female firefly mimics the mating flashes of other fireflies so males are attracted to her, then eats them. She, of course, is known as the femme fatale.

None of this diminishes my sense of wonder when I see the tiny lights surrounding me. Have I wandered into a magical production of A Midsummer Night's Dream? Or are there thousands of Tinkerbells in the world, just waiting for me to believe and clap my hands?

This artiste apparently shares this feeling, as she created a lovely image that captures it.

The image below, found at Chaotic Utopia, is jaw-dropping, but more mundane somehow. Less really is more.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for linking to my post, and especially for fulfilling my little fantasy of fireflies in central park! as many times as i've been to the park when i visit the city, it's never been at dusk on a summer evening. the next time i'm in the city (in a couple of weeks) i will pay a visit to the urban-dwelling fireflies. one more reason i can't wait to visit.

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