I wish there was a way to capture what I saw this Sunday evening in the food forest.
We had just come home from attending a service at church celebrating the Reformation (and yes, we definitely sung A Mighty Fortress is Our God). Rachel went down the driveway to shut the gate… and didn’t come back. After getting the kids inside and not seeing her show up again, I went to find her.
She was standing at the edge of the driveway, staring into the edge of the food forest.
“What is is,” I asked, “are you okay?”
“There are fireflies… everywhere in the grass!”
I looked and sure enough… little points of light were scattered across the mulch and beneath the shrubs and trees. It was incredible. Here and there, blinking slowly and fading.
They didn’t look quite like fireflies to me, so I reached down and carefully scooped one up, then took it inside for a photo.
Here it is:
Actually, that guy sort of looks like the evil brain-controlling insects from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
Yes, they’re not really pretty (they look a lot like isopods, AKA wood lice, albeit with six legs instead of dozens).
I wish you could really see what the glow of these creatures looked like. I tried shooting lots of shots outside to catch the glow but my camera just wouldn’t pull it off.
Unlike my awesome photoshop above, these little Florida glow worms only glowed at the very tip of their rears, similar to a firefly but with a smaller, dimmer light.
Still, seeing them scattered here and there through the food forest was magical.
I can’t tell you how many interesting and marvelous species have popped up in my food forest since I quit mowing and started adding layers and layers of species, not to mention logs, mulch, ponds and other habitat.
The other day a copper-colored frog of a species I’d never seen before was hanging out by the path:
I’ve never seen a frog that color – it really looked like it was made of metal.
Marvelous things happen when you add habitat.
(And yep – the house and food forest are still for sale. A few folks have nibbled, but no bites yet. It’s $135,000 and has lots of space indoors and out… and now you know it even comes with free glow worms!)