Lit

poppy light
some lights at a friend’s house

Halfway up the hollow, a dim row of lights below the road: the foxfire log. Starlight gleams in a pool beyond. Here and there, the high-pitched, whispery chittering of flying squirrels. When I reach the houses, I hear a familiar double chirp slowed to a fraction of its normal speed, like an old 78 played at 33 RPM. A lone katydid survives out of that whole, once-thunderous late-summer chorus. Kay… tee… Somehow it’s weathered a week and a half of freezing temperatures, and still finds the strength to call at 47°F. Kay… The nightlight glows through my kitchen window, faint as foxfire. Tee… I don’t think anyone is going to help it complete the phrase, not any longer. I hurry indoors, snap on a light, and log onto my email.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

12 Comments


  1. Fabulous photo – is that the foxfire fungi? I remember that post from 2 years ago! Getting into the Halloween spirit, Dave, with the help of the katydid.

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  2. No, those are some lights at a friend’s house. Foxfire is just a pale white, and too faint to photograph I think.

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  3. I was slightly disappointed to have my suspicion that they are “just” lights confirmed – given the magic of your hollow I was hoping for some sort of natural phenomenon hitherto unknown to me being responsible, but it’s a sumptuous photograph whatever the “nature” of the subject.

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  4. It is indeed a gorgeous photo – and luciferin is one of my favorite words; knew it in re: to lightning bugs, but not fungus. Very cool.

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  5. I added a caption to the photo to eliminate confusion. Thanks for the comments (and to the Theriomorph for taking the time to read that old post, too).

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  6. Wait a minute – hasn’t somebody slipped a poppy seed pod and a wild cucumber pod onto a string of little white Christmas lights? Very cool, whatever the source.

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  7. The lights photo is very pretty, but somehow it makes me crane my neck to the right, to look at it “right side up”.

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  8. I love the photo, and I love LadyP’s comment about the photo.

    And thank you for the kind inclusion in Smorgasblog.

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  9. that beth…doesn’t miss a thing!

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  10. Tender words. The photo, with the low-light ember looks like it might warm the katydid just a bit.

    Reply

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