Solstice Star in the Grass #science #nature #solarsolstice #insect #star #poem #poetry

glowworm Lampyris_noctiluca

This female glowworm’s light is green. My beetles are pale skinned with a blue-white light

A solstice moon has washed away
Starlight from up high,
Leaving Mars and Jupiter
To dominate the sky.

But here a tiny blue-white star,
A fleck of light below,
Is nestled in the parched-dry grass
And gives a steady glow.

Rare the sight in my backyard,
This pale beetle’s essence,
As wonderful as any star
Is bioluminescence.

Pressures vast drive fusion
And spark atomic fires,
While at my feet, luciferin
Lights a bug’s desire.

A star will shine a billion years,
This bug a night or two.
Yet it will breed another life
As sure as stars will do.

by Kate Rauner

Every year I see a scant few glow beetles at my New Mexico mountain home – only for a few nights around the solstice, just before the monsoon rains begin – so few I hate to disturb them. Each one is tiny and pale, and does not seem to move much once it begins to glow. I’ve never seen a flying counterpart, so they’re not like the fireflies I chased as a kid in New York State. If anyone can tell me what critter I’m watching, please post a comment below. Thanks.

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