“Like a moth attracted to a flame… ” I have always been attracted to fire and smoke. So yesterday I had a wonderful day of photographing farm scenes and harvest scenes and drove all over Eastern Iowa. I also met up with a dear friend and we had a two-hour lunch getting caught up.
I digress, so in the middle of my travels I saw a long trail of smoke. It was not the big black sinister looking smoke from a structure fire, in fact at first I thought it was more dust then smoke. Intrigued I decided to investigate.
A factoid ~ The fact is scientists think moths aren’t so much attracted to the light of a flame or other bright light as they are disoriented by it. Here’s how it works. Like many flying insects, moths are able to find their way partly by using light as a compass. When the source of light is the sun or moon, that light source is very distant, and the incoming light rays that strike the insect arrive just about parallel to each other.
So moths – and many other flying insects – have evolved to expect to receive light at a fixed part of the eye. As long as the moth flies more or less in a straight line, this visual pattern remains unchanged.
Now consider what happens when the light source is a nearby candle. Then the angle at which the light strikes the moth’s eye quickly changes while the moth holds to a straight-line course. The moth tries to do what it has evolved to do under the light of the sun or moon – that is, maintain a constant angle to the source.
And as it does so, it spirals in toward the light.
What I discovered was a large corn field was on fire. Apparently (according to the paper this morning) a farmer was bailing corn stalks and a spark or flame from the baler set the field on fire. You can see the fire above. You may click on the image to make it larger.
It jumped across the road and set an unharvested field of corn on fire as well as shown in the first image. I couldn’t get any closer to show the fire of the unharvested field. I was blocked by law enforcement. 🙂
This was what they were trying to fight the fire with. I did see some flames leap up from the field above but I was talking with the guy who was telling me to move my car so I didn’t capture that.
I have never heard of seen a corn field on fire so yesterday was a new experience and adventure all rolled up into one. 🙂
I’m out among them again today trying to capture more harvest images and fall scenes. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.