At this time of year (late July/ August) I've seen glow worms along the sides of lanes and on cliff tops when I've been walking in dark places. I leant today that they particularly like railway lines. Nobody quite understands why they populate some places and not others. Last week , in the still warm evenings at West Dean College I sensed this was the time to look. In West Dean village cemetery, and along a lane leading from the college grounds towards the village shop I discovered three. They are always such a special appearance and I associate them with full warm summer nights. An ipad is an ideal drawing instrument as it too glows in the dark. The Living World (Radio 4 - 04/08/13) happened to dedicate an episode to them today: the female beetles (up to an inch long) glow in order to attract a mate. They begin to glow just at the time when we cease to decipher colour - they cease to glow as soon as they have mated and descend into the undergrowth from whence they came in order to lay between 100- 150 eggs. The males fly but do not glow- neither adult can eat. The slow-moving young eat snails and slugs- paralysing them with venom and reducing their insides to liquid which they suck up. After eating they use their tail to mop up their eating apparatus. Human light pollution can distract the males and the adults have only two weeks of energy to fly or glow, mate and lay eggs.
This digital platform offers a forum for me to reflect further on what informs my material practice.