HEAT! ARGH! Oh, wait — shiny! SHIIIINNYYYYY!

It’s no news to anyone that the weather is foul at the moment where I am. The heat is oppressive and terrible. Walking outside is like trying to walk across the bottom of a boiling lake. Wishing for rain is wishing for a mixed blessing — the rain itself would be a nice break from the terrible heat, but it would perpetuate the humidity that makes the heat so damn unbearable.

Yet, even on nights like this (when it’s still above 80 even after sunset, and feels warmer still), there are little bits of beauty to see. This is Firefly Time, when fields and yards and roadside ditches are rippling with golden lights in the evenings. Everything shines with this amazing glow — it’s like someone threw yellow Christmas lights over everything and set them to blink on and off at apparently random intervals, and it’s just stunning every time I see it.

Of course, the blinking isn’t random — the other cool thing about Firefly Time is that we are all watching an elaborate, luciferin-ornamented mating rite, played out against green grass and tall corn and under tall trees and hanging brush. There is a language constantly before us in the night, spoken with no notion whatsoever that any being other than those to whom it is biologically meaningful might try to decipher it. It’s this alluring, sexy thing, and we can’t feel that, really. We can see the lights dancing, and we can be moved by the romance of it, but human romance is not a firefly mating signal and vice versa — they simply cannot mean the same thing.

So anyway — huzzah for the sexy insect funtimes!


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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