Tilefortlauderdale

One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Land of the lightning bugs



Ariel doesn't want to spend another July 4 fighting traffic and battling for parking spaces at the beach. Instead, she's dreaming of the natural fireworks back home in the land of the lightning bugs. She never realized how unique fireflies were until she moved to South Florida. Now she missed them. A lot. Ariel is fascinated with bugs. Her favorites are those cicadas that burrow underground, emerging just once every 17 years.

Ariel photographs bugs and then she Googles them and compiles files of all their interesting characteristics. That's how she learned that lightning bugs use their glow to attract mates, and that each species of lightning bug has its own special flash pattern that can range from a continuous glow to series of multi-pulsed flashes. According to Backyardnature.net, the reason each species has it's own flash pattern is so they don't attract a firefly of a different species. Ariel prefers to think fireflies are more open-minded than that, and that they're just being individuals.

On one site Ariel learned that after mating, the female firefly often stops signaling, but that occasionally she'll continue flashing and then, once she lures the male lightning bug, she just eats him. Ariel thought that was funny. She wished reincarnation were real and that maybe she could come back as a firefly.

Dropped Ariel at Birch Park, where there's plenty of weird little bugs to keep her busy.

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