My wife pointed out the first firefly siting of the summer last night while eating in the garden at Franny’s. It is such a pleasure to see that light. It evokes strong childhood memories of Virginia summers and backyards full of them. Sadly I don’t see as many as I used to but I was reminded of Gregory Crewdson’s Fireflies work. To my eye his most satisfying, elegant and simple body of work. (Like most photobooks, I should have bought it before the price went up.)
Three side notes:
–Crewdson’s work as a student at SUNY Purchase involved photographing objects in thrift stores that he re-arranged. I wonder if there are prints of this around. Let me know if you’ve seen this work.
–The snap peas at dinner were unbelievably good.
–”Fireflies appear to light up for a variety of reasons. The larvae produce short glows and are primarily active at night, even though many species are subterranean or semi-aquatic. Fireflies produce defensive steroids in their bodies that make them unpalatable to predators. Larvae use their glows as warning displays to communicate their distastefulness. As adults, many fireflies have flash patterns unique to their species and use them to identify other members of their species as well as to discriminate between members of the opposite sex. Several studies have shown that female fireflies choose mates depending upon specific male flash pattern characteristics. Higher male flash rates, as well as increased flash intensity, have been shown to be more attractive to females in two different firefly species.” –from Scientific American’s “How and why do fireflies light up?”