— oOo —
There was a firefly in my room last night. I am fond of fireflies. At dusk, they gather in loose swarms along the rainforest edge. Unlike some species in SE Asia, these ones do not synchronise their displays. They neither spark in unison nor in sequence, so there are no Christmas lights or illuminated Mexican waves. But they do produce an excellent imitation of the Milky Way. On clear nights, you can stand both among and beneath a cloud of stars.
So I was delighted when, of all the arthropods that wander into the house — a list that includes, but is not limited to, click beetles, capsizing scarabs, giant cockroaches that nudge the furniture across the floor, steel-jawed longicorns, mosquitoes with drilling rigs attached to their heads, huntsman spiders the size of bread and butter plates and uncoordinated moths that fly into your face while you're trying to read bloody hell there's another one just go away — a firefly had turned up. They are the most innocuous of insect visitors.
The lone firefly sauntered across the ceiling, flinging together luciferin and luciferase to generate a small-scale biochemical light show in its backside. And it was splendid...until the blasted thing decided to jazz up its display. It flew around in tight circles with its light jammed on. After landing on the floor, it would zip back up to the ceiling, crawl around for a bit and then repeat the whole exhibition. And that light is really bright. LED bright.
The first time was spectacular. I had never seen fireflies display that way before and was surprised that the reactions could provide consistent light over several seconds. But by the seventh time, it was like being stuck in a room with Tinker Bell on a caffeine high. Yeah, yeah, miracle of nature and all that... I am totally over fireflies.