August 2, 2010

Picture of the Month: August 2010

I took this month's picture during my last trip to Ithaca. It was swelteringly hot and humid during the days so it was most enjoyable to wander the area at night--though because I'm such a nut, there were a few times I got us out during the worst part of the afternoon (sorry Rob...).

Cornell has a beautiful old campus. The most recognizable feature is perhaps an enormous bell tower sitting atop a hill that looks out over the entire valley below. It is from this vantage that I snapped the can even see a bit of Cayuga Lake reflecting the last rays of summer sun through the trees.

Another evening, we walked down to the lake shore itself and watched a lovely sunset while feeding the few ducks still congregated around the shoreline. When it got too dark to safely linger, we strolled home through blinking roadside congregations of fireflies. Rob reminded me that different types of fireflies blink for vastly different reasons. In one variety, males fly around using flashing patterns meant to impress a female. The females then respond with their own bioluminescent displays in order to accept a mate. Another species mimics the previous female's "body language", but instead of a roll in the hay, she's just after some dinner! Male fireflies in the first species have no way to discern the difference! Love can certainly be a dangerous game in the insect world.

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