Earthborn stars glimmer
In lustful luminescence
Along twinkling tracks
In the UK we don’t see fireflies, or at least we only see the wingless female which we call the ‘glowworm’. She is in the same family as the firefly and she glows with a yellow lime green light.
Near where I live there is a disused railway track with a colony of glowworms which is protected by the council. When the old track was converted into a cycle track a few years ago, the council paid £150,000 to install special dim, red lighting which turns off at 11pm, so that the glowworm colony could thrive.
Glowworms have fascinated writers and poets such as Dryden, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Thomas hardy and even Shakespeare who eveoked their ‘ineffectual fire’ in Hamlet. They also get a mention in Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’, when they end up serving as the light in the Statue of Liberty!
Did you know that during the Great War , Allied soldiers used the light from glowworms to read their maps at night?
Fascinating facts I would never have known if I hadn’t been inspired by haiku Heights this week!