Episode 28

Fireflies are among the hardest critters in which to take good photos. With a little planning and some post-production magic, it's not as hard as you think it is.

The original story started like this:

"From our front porch, you can see a flash here and there. Nothing spectacular but it’s a novelty to see the small, neon green glow emitting softly from the airborne insects that take flight each summer night as dusk commences.  

We’ve lived in our new house for less than three months but our timing for moving in couldn’t have been better. We strategically had our new home built so we could look out over our property and see the daily ebb and flow of nature before us. As late spring (and eventually summer) settled in over the blacklands, daily walks into the pastures and creeks revealed something new and something undiscovered each time. I grew up on the land around here and while familiarity often breeds complacency, I still greet each day with the hope that I’ll see the world in a way that is, to me, unwitnessed.

After watching fireworks with family light up the sky on July 4th from atop a hill that overlooks a broad swath of central Fannin County, Kristy Graves and I headed back home on our side-by-side and enjoyed the coolness of the evening. As day morphed into the night, the sting of summer is replaced with the coolness and placidity of a still summer evening in the country.  

We stop on the buggy periodically to listen to whippoorwills sing their eerie song from deep in the woods and contemplate the more pressing matters of life. In the distance, a barred owl signals his presence. Soon we are back on our property and as we slipped past the wetlands, the best fireworks show of the evening commenced.

In front of us, hundreds of fireflies flitted about the margins between the trees and the meadow. Mosquitos be damned, we couldn’t help but stop and watch the spectacle for a moment.  

Even on the darkest of nights, the tiny insects shine a light so that others can find them. I just know there’s a metaphor in there somewhere…"