Why fireflies in West Lafayfette, IN ?
That’s a very good question. Murphy and I head to West Lafayette, IN. to find out. Murphy has been cooped up in the RV most all day and by the time the 1:30 drive is over he’s just ready to get out run. However, we need to solve the mystery of the fireflies first.
First, however is a trip through the Purdue campus.
Web search turns up that the university has perfromed extensive research on lightening bugs. Purdue University documents 43 known species of fireflies in Indiana. Of those, only 30 flash. Some species flash primarily at dusk and stop when it gets dark, whereas others do not start flashing until after dark, and carry on well into the night. Arwin Provonsha, curator of the Purdue Entomological Research Collection, explains that fireflies that flash in Indiana can be classified as follows: Photinus have a yellow flash, Photuris have a green flash and Pyractomena have an amber flash.
Not only is 4:00 in the afternoon a bad time for vehicle and student traffic, it’s not exactly prime firefly time either as I see no flashes of any kind. I am Interested in seeing the campus, however, as I’ve never been here. I’m looking for a Boilermaker statue or other identifying feature for the obligatory selfie opportunity. I search around Mackey arena and no Boilermakers and still no fireflies either.
On around the bend and not only do I spot a Boilermaker, I find a field full of them. The Purdue football team is having a closed practice.
Those gold helmets in the sun are just too much to ignore and I have to get closer. I must not present much of a threat as no one seems to notice Murphy and I watching and snapping photos as the team runs several plays. The sound of the calls, the pads smacking, the whistles blowing and overall football vibe are a reminder summer is coming to a close. It saddens me.
From ball field to firefly fields
Murphys’ patience is wearing thin and he is itching to jump into action. He reminds me we aren’t here to watch football. We head back across the Wabash river to Armstrong Park. It has fields, waters and flowers. I commission Murphy to help in the firefly hunt but Im not sure he ever clued in. I do enjoy watching his joy at just sniffing and exploring. His exuberance for the simple things remind me to quit fretting over the end of Summer and to enjoy all that I have to look forward to,
In the meantime, I decide to take the opportunity to practice some close up photography with my iPhone. While searching out field flowers, I spot them. Fireflies!!