“They flash like little diamonds,” he said.

Since Biology class in high school, I’ve had a periodic fascination with fruit flies.  Even the name, Drosophilia melongaster, is poetic.  See how the letters lilt and unroll from the words… Discovering the elegance in their genetic logic, for whatever reason, a sort of reverence for the fruit fly stuck with me.  Mmm, I can still smell the ether in the jars, still recall putting them to sleep…

The other day I read about a previously unseen characteristics of their wings.  Far from clear, they are iridescent and gloriously hued.  There’s a good lesson here about a simple change in perspective, and what doors that change can open.  From the article:

“You hold the wing up against the light, so you can see the veins,” said study co-author Daniel Janzen, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “If you’re looking through a microscope, you try to get a clear view behind the wing. It’s the antithesis of getting wing color.”

The researchers studied wings under microscopes, against black backgrounds. But once Janzen, who breeds wasps for his research on caterpillar-parasite symbioses, started to look, colors could be seen by the naked eye as wings passed over insects’ black bodies.

“They flash like little diamonds,” he said.

So now: how to take that new, open view and apply it to writing, to life?  How to see the hidden colors, unveil the glory of what is in front of me?

2 responses to ““They flash like little diamonds,” he said.

  1. Nice! Though I must say that I wasn’t fond of them back when my husband was doing research…

  2. I bet it’s a much better hobby (for a high school student) than a job… I can imagine.

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