Last Saturday night I went on a special mission. Being me, I was very excited about it. But to begin at the beginning it had all started when I was contacted by the Observatoire des Vers Luisants by email in early July asking me if I had seen any glow worms in my garden this year because I had let them know that I had seen at least one in the summer of 2012.
As it so happened my husband had spotted one in the garden the day before we received the email. I was able to reply that we had already had a sighting in the garden. There are two possible insects that could emit light in the evening, the fireflies or the glow worms. What we have seen are glow worms.
This is a photograph taken in 2012 from a post “It is a matter of perspective”. I did not think to take a photograph this year.
When I responded to the enquiry that we had a sighting in the garden, I also indicated that I would be prepared for any “Special Mission” that might be forthcoming.
Last Friday I was contacted by telephone and asked if I would be able to follow a given route from the house between the 24 and 26 July after sunset. This is the first time I have taken part in one of these “Citizen Science” projects and I was delighted to agree.
I duly received my map which showed me a route from the house towards the village for about a kilometre. I was very pleased with the route because it was exactly where we had seen the glow worms in previous years. The 24 th. was a fine summer evening and we decided to make a supplementary search in the garden before starting on the given route. I am not used to wandering in the garden at night with no light so I managed to fall over the wires holding up the vine posts – I hadn’t expected this mission to be so dangerous!
Whether by coincidence or not, that night the street lighting in our little hamlet was not switched on. Despite walking the route slowly, one behind the other, we did not spot any glow worms. Even the glow worm we had seen in the garden was not there. We were very surprised but posted our zero count as every result is important especially a negative one. We have had an extremely dry period and the edges of the road had been closely cropped in June leaving hardly any vegetation. I do not know whether this would make a difference but I added it to the comment section of my return.
Do you see fireflies or glow worms in your gardens?