There is a subdued grandeur in a redwood forest. Animal sounds are often muffled and seemingly distant. The forest floor is covered with deep green ferns and other shade-loving plants. One doesn’t expect to see large numbers of insects, especially in the winter months. Of course, the California coast is not completely dormant this time of year and a patient observer will still discover a few creatures finding their way around. So it was that we came across this attractive firefly in the Forest of Nicene Marks State Park (in Santa Cruz County) a couple of weeks ago.
The Forest of Nicene Marks State Park is primarily a second-growth redwood forest. It was logged extensively last century but the owners decided to protect the area in subsequent years and gave the park to the State of California. It is a fairly large area (as state parks go) and there are a number of nice trails. During our visit, we discovered a side trail with few hikers along Aptos Creek where there were remains of old growth redwoods. It was cool but not cold and a few stoneflies could be seen flying above the water as they moved into illuminating pockets of sunbeams. I took a short detour to an area of old redwood stumps and was trying to get my mind around the age of the erstwhile giants, when this firelfly landed on one of the dead logs.