It’s cool being a bug

August 28, 2007 at 5:17 pm | Posted in art, blogging, charity knitting, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, Habitat for Humanity, knitting, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, summer, volunteerism | 13 Comments

28-aug-07_b.jpgI have been a bug now for a little over one year, and I have to say … it is cool being a bug. Bugs used to creep me out. Okay, bugs still creep me out to a large degree. However, when I became a bug I was fortunate enough to become one that has never creeped me out in the least and one which, in fact, only conjurs up magic in my heart and imagination. Therefore, I do not creep myself out and I have made some very good friends, friends who rather seem to enjoy addressing me by my bug name every bit as much as I enjoy being so called … firefly.

Little did I know when I started my blog last year in early August that it would become anything what it has become by now. I am grateful beyond expression for the warmth of the many comments and emails left by you folks out there. It has been and continues to be an inspirational journey and one that is very cool to take together. You have been with me as I have discovered and become some sort of a part of the landscape that is my new home in rural, Western New York. As I have explored and photographed this endearing place, I have fallen in love with it more and more and you have been a part of that process. I don’t want to over-acknowledge it, because I in no way intend to end this experience. Instead, I would like to do all I can to increase its value and meaning in my life as well as yours.

The evening light shows become more and more spectacular as the year grows older. Saturday evening we were snuggled up on the sofa watching something on television when a very late evening amber-rose light cut shone through the room with gently shifting dappled shadow lights across the television and on over to my oil painting studio across the room. It would be impossible to witness such light without a sense of lively magic permeating the environment. Just as the twinkling light of little fireflys in mid-summer bestow a sense of magic to brighten the soul, so does this rich late-summer, late-evening light brighten and soothe. It reminds us that magic does indeed exist … tangible. Reach out, touch it, taste it … for it is there.

28-aug-07_d.jpgA few minutes later we looked outside, catching sight of the magic light cutting through the trees here and there, high and low. The world was ablaze with magic light. I whispered, “Let’s go outside!” and away we went in a hurry before the magic could fade away. The sky was gray and pink in muted contrast to the bits and pieces of tree foilage, green by day, lit up in tones of deep amber rose. It was breathtaking and made me feel library-quiet because I so did not want to disturb it.

Later that night, as we were beginning to go to sleep, my husband said, “Is that a firefly?” I looked toward our north-facing window (the one that overlooks our barn) and saw one lone firefly blinking on and off right at our window. It was strange, a bit ethereal, to see that single firefly hanging around our bedroom window–this late in the summer. We usually only see them out amongst the trees and shrubs, by the barn and the willow, earlier in the summer. I stayed awake as long as I could watching the one firefly but I fell asleep before its light went out or away. What future magic did the firefly portend? What was the meaning of the little creatures’ visit at our bedroom window? I wonder …

Sunday seemed a perfect day to me. We enjoyed fellowship with our friends at church in the morning, and went teasel testing on the way home. (Teasels, if you recall, are the main ingredient of my Thistleonian Critters. We have been tracking their development this year to try to determine the ideal time to harvest them.) Back at home I had some experimentation to conduct on watercolor paper I wanted to adhere to wood panels for the barn paintings I am longing to get started on. We also watched the Turkish Grand Prix Formula One race which my husband had TIVO’d that morning. After the race, the watercolor paper tests, and a few other home-bound tasks, we set out to harvest a bucketful of teasels and shoot some photographs of apple orchards being prepped for picking, followed by a trip to a local farm market for a couple of scoops of our favorite ice cream.

28-aug-07_horsec.jpgWhile we were out on the photography run, my husband spotted a group of dappled horses enjoying their lazy Sunday afternoon. Three were laying down having a rest, one of those was rolling around like a happy dog …

Side Bar: I have to remember to tell you sometime about my observations regarding the behavior of New York cows versus California cows.

Be sure to check out my One Painting a Day blog to see the latest paintings I have posted there from my “Beginning with Barnum” art show at The Winery at Marjim Manor. Plus, I have found an artist-friendly auction site where I will be posting any of my auctions from now on. Of note, I will be donating 10% of my auction proceeds from the Beginning with Barnum paintings to our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. You can check out a gallery of current auctions here.

Back to the Blog … It was a wonderful summer scene, that group of happy horses lounging, rolling, napping, slowly chomping on hay. We pulled over so I could shoot some photos from the car, and as I shot my photos I was viciously attacked by–I don’t know what. At first all I felt was a bit of a stinging sensation on my forearm, but being the dedicated photographer that I am I bravely continued going for the shot I wanted … one, two, three, and four shots I clicked before pausing to see what was causing the increasingly strong feeling of pain on my arm. At first all I saw was a dark crimson circle of blood standing out in stark contrast to the snowy white of my ultra-soft long sleeved tissue tee. Blood! A stain the size of a nickle, a nickle I tell you! Eee-gaads! What was going on? Quickly my eyes caught sight of some dark, evil creature perched in the middle of the bloody spot. With no time to think, I swept at the monstrous beast with my hand while calling out to my husband that we must flee before it returned. For the first time in my life, I had been bloodied in the line of photographic duty.

28-aug-07_horseb.jpgI barely escaped with my life and I’m not entirely sure that even the mighty power of my economy size Stain-Stik is going to remove that blood stain from my pretty little tee. But, I do this dangerous photography work for you, dear reader. For you. No, no … now don’t try to dissuade me from continuing onward. If bloodied I must be in order to chronicle and bring to you the beauty of this world, then bloodied I shall be and without so much as a wince or a tear, no not I.

Don’t the horses look sweet though. I love the way one of the younger horses lifted its head, roused from a little nap to see what was going on over by the road.

28-aug-07_e.jpgSunday evening, as a mostly perfect day came to a close, I went out to our willow tree and captured some of the magic light of evening dancing through the cascading canopy above. Lovely, just lovely.

This morning, mid-blog, the doorbell rang and when Blu and I answered it, we found a group of four young men who had taken a dunk in the river when their canoe capsized. Their cell phone was drenched in water and so wasn’t working, and they needed to borrow our phone. I handed them a cordless phone while Blu barked to make sure they knew just whose home they were at. I invited them to stay on the porch to wait for their ride, so for about thirty minutes or so we had strangers out on the porch and in the yard enjoying a bit of rest just as the Wheelmen did in years gone by. I enjoyed hearing their voices as they stretched out on the hill at the corner of our yard and imagined what it must have been like when the Wheelmen would stop by on their way to Lake Ontario, stretching out in the shade of the trees and gulping down cold water from the well out back. We have a good life here at our place, and I am happy for any opportunity to share it just as it has been shared so generously with me.

Yes, I am a bug and life continues to unfold and open up, displaying more and more grace and beauty, filling my heart with a sense of gratitude overflowing and dancing along like the water in the river across the road.

It’s cool, being a bug.

Wishing you a lovely day,


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  1. I always enjoy reading what you write! Thank you.

  2. Hi firefly,

    Lovely pictures of horses.

    Unfortunately I suspect that those sweet creatures have something to do with your bug attack as it sounds very much like a horsefly bite to me. They are designed for cutting through thick animal skin which is why they make such a mess when they bite us poor humans!

    I have been bitten by them a few times in the past and I sympathise, I really do!

  3. You are a cool bug, always enjoy reading your posts. Love the photos of the horses and the willow especially.

    Best wishes,

  4. Firefly, perxoide will take the blood out of your shirt. LOve your pictures and writings. Horse flies sure can bite. take care and blessings, Judy

  5. Fireflies have always been one of my favorites. As a child in Texas, we spent countless hours catching them and collecting them in Mason jars. I must confess we sometimes tore off the “light” and stuck it on a finger to be a diamond ring. That makes me sad now. It especially made me sad during the 80s and 90s when it seemed they had disappeared from our yards. Then miraculously we began to see them again. I was thrilled. Now that we have moved to Missouri and live on 4 acres of wooded mountain, it is a joy in the spring to note the arrival of the first fireflies while sitting on the deck in early evening. Your photos of the fading light are glorious. Thanks for sharing and for providing a great start to the day with your writings and images.

  6. How beautiful! I love the way the light changes as the sun travels accross the sky. The horses are so cute, they look like dalmations! Wonder what the firefly was telling you? And I really wonder what bit you! Bugs usually get screams out me;)

  7. To be injured in the line of duty is quite honorable. And to think that you perservered through the agony to snap those beautiful pictures. Thank you so much!!

    I do believe the firefly at your window had come to tell you that you are one of them. A bit of magic in the air is an incredible thing, isn’t it?

  8. A firefly is a good thing to be.

    I think it was probably a horsefly that bit you. They sting like crazy!
    I too love the light this time of year, and it certainly is changing fast. It seems only last week it was still summer-like, whereas now it is reminiscent of fall.

  9. Love reading your posts, and I do appreciate the trauma you go through to bring us great pictures. Sorry about the bite, sounds nasty!

  10. Hi Firefly!
    Happy Labor Day! I’m obviously a little behind reading your blog. We’ve celebrated a 16th birthday, welcomed my daughter home from college for a week-end and watched my son play at “rib fest”. We’ve had a wonderful few days as a family and how I cherish them. Just like I’ve cherished reading your blog over the last year. I think it was about a year ago that I stumbled upon it. Thank you for your beautiful photos, your blog that inspires us to do a little bit of thinking or to just enjoy your adventures! Thanks for going above and beyond for your readers even “big” bug bites. I’m so sorry you had to have an encounter with a horsefly. Hope its better today and that you were able to get rid of the stain. Thanks again for sharing with us! Hope you have a blessed day! Ann

  11. Hi Firefly, Thanks for the blog. I love sharing your day with you. The pictures are the best! We bugs need to stick together too!

    We use to do the same thing Valarie did, catching the fireflies in a mason jar and sometimes pinching the light off to put on our fingers for diamond rings.
    You have gotten good advise for removing the bloodstain. Saliva also works.

    Have a fine week!

  12. …and what a wonderful bug you are!! 🙂

    Perhaps the firefly was celebrating the anniversary of your blog with you??

  13. Yes, to be so horrifically attacked by the fearful giant black monster and remain brave enough to take such lovely photos is the mark of a true photographer and very strong woman.

    I do hope you have as much fun in the next year of blogging as you have in this one past.

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