Never in my life have I painted outdoors at night with only a headlamp for light. This isn’t the best painting ever, but I am patting myself on the back for even trying it.
Our back yard is registered as a firefly habitat with the Museum of Science (Boston) Firefly Watch. They’re working with researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College to study why firefly populations are dwindling. Anyone with fireflies can participate. It’s fun, easy, and only takes a few minutes of time once a week. I’ve learned a lot, like how to spot a male courting a female.
One of the assignments is to count how many fireflies you see in a ten second period. Hah! They must be kidding! We don’t have countable fireflies. We have huge numbers of them. (We keep them happy by mowing infrequently, and never using lawn chemicals.) There are at least twenty visible at any given moment in our yard. They’re like twinkle lights on holiday trees.
So I had this bright idea – take notes visually, since our firefly population is more easily described using density rather than numbers. Here’s the problem, though: Observers are instructed to use blue lights while taking notes, because fireflies can’t see blue light. Ever tried to do a blue painting under blue light? Can’t see a thing!