Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: housefly




about to sweep the floor
saw the dead dark fly
what would a scan show?
iridescent colours, dust and fibres
invisible to the naked eye

Marja-Leena | 20/03/2013 | 15 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Nature, Photoworks



So cool, Marja-Leena! I'm glad you shared this with us. It reminds me of the time, many years ago (50? 55?) when my Dad ordered a microscope for us kids from some science equipment company and it came with dozens of slide, one of which was the leg of a common housefly. Under the microscope, we were able to see the mites that live on houseflies. My Dad said, "See? Even the bugs have bugs!"

Thanks for this scan which brought up a long-ago memory of an event that probably started me on my love affair with science.

Amazing; I'm fascinated by many insects, but very ambivalent about flies, the colours and detail are sort of beautiful but I find flies loathsome!

Have you ever seen the Acrobatic Fly?

Martha, I'm glad you enjoyed this and the memories it brought up. The scanner is not quite up to microscope power but it gives me great pleasure. Thanks for dropping by... hope you are well.

Lucy, believe me, I dislike flies too, especially in the house. We had a warm day a couple of days ago and a couple came in thorugh an open door. One was very annoying, zooming around the kitchen until husband killed it. This one expired on its own.

That Acrobatic Fly is amazing and it's from 1910! The filmmaker must have been very clever to set it up like that. Now I will think of it every time I get irritated by a fly! Thanks, Lucy.

Like the moth, the top photo looks like jewelry, this one with jewel tones in its body! It's common enough for costume jewelry to be fashioned as insects - dragonflies, butterflies, lady bugs. I think it goes back to ancient Egypt.

Leslee, isn't it odd that I should find and post two dead insects in just over a week? I did think of jewelry and scarabs when I saw these images emerge from the scan.

Hmm, just remembered a gift of a beetle preserved inside resin....I feel another scan coming on....

I share Lucy's ambivalent feelings about flies. I prefer them dead. But trying to separate myself from my revulsion I am as now often amazed by their construction and indeed their achievement in the air.

Joe, I wonder if one can overcome the revulsion, a little anyway, by looking for the beauty in what we dislike?

I wonder if we don't like insects so much because they're the only creatures on earth who both outnumber and out-mass us. They have their place and their own strange beauty as this scan well shows.

I remember my surprise the first time I saw a cicada. A whole troop of ants was required to carry the carcass of the giant fly-like creature away.

Susan, good point about insects outnumbering us. I read somewhere that they may even survive on this earth even if and when humans don't. I think I have more of a dislike for ants than for flies for we have problems with them around our home and garden. I wish I could see a cicada one day, with or without the ants.

Absolutely extraordinary and beautiful, yes, in a scary kind of way. Nature is constantly surprising, especially when looked at in close-up. You must have a particularly good scanner (as well as your unique vision!) - how do you avoid the light getting in when you have to lift the cover to allow scanning objects that aren't flat?
On my scanner, even if I put a blanket over the lid when it's half open, the scans aren't sharp.

Natalie, thanks and yes, a bit scary too, especially the second one.

My scanner is indeed a good one, better than I even expected when I bought it to replace an older one that had become obsolete. I am able to scan thicker objects with the lid open which came as a surprise to me. This gives the black background. I wrote about this several years ago if you'd like to read more. Later, I learned from many friends that not all scanners, even costlier ones, do this. Go figure, I sure was lucky with this one. Anyway, try it out on yours and let me know how it works out.

Love that weird iridescence...

Marly, yes, that iridescence surprised me very much.

He also looks faintly powdered with gold... You are a jeweler!

Marly, are you giving me ideas, such as taking up jewelry making? :-)