It’s lightning bug season! I’ve been so wrapped up in things I didn’t even notice until tonight. This is definitely not the world’s greatest video, but if you watch, you can see flickers on and off. I swear there used to be a whole lot more of the little buggers when I was a kid than there seem to be nowadays… hmm.
We’ve always called them lightning bugs around here. Officially they are fireflies. Which is neither here nor there because they aren’t flies and they aren’t bugs either – they’re beetles!
Evidently, there has been a Firefly Watch project ongoing at the Museum of Science in Boston since 2008, which has been somewhat recently handed off to Mass Audubon. Since it’s a citizen watch project, if you live in an area with fireflies you can participate in helping to monitor the population and locations (participation details are on Mass Audubon’s website). There is also Firefly.org which discusses all the possible reasons for dwindling firefly populations, what can be done to help, and invites people to submit sightings.
The poor little things. As kids we had no issues squishing their luminescent little bodies to decorate ourselves and each other with glowing marks on our arms, legs and faces. I’m pretty sure I fake married a cousin at one point with a lightning bug glow ring…. It seemed so innocent then but as an adult – Yuck!
They are super pretty to watch flutter around an open field during and after dusk though. The more there are the prettier it is. My kids never did the squishing thing. They had no need of glowing insect decoration since they grew up in the age of dollar store glow sticks and glow jewelry. However, they did chase each other around the yard and dance about as the fireflies lit up around them (while decked out in said dollar store glowing items). And of course, caught and collected them in jars for a short bit, but they always released them back into the yard before bed, intact. I hope they’ll cherish those memories and share them with their own kids someday.
Love & Light