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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nature's Little Lanterns



Most people know about fireflies, cute little flying beetles with bottoms that light up at dusk to facilitate one task all life forms are driven to accomplish – reproduction.

In Middle Tennessee, our fireflies (lightning bugs) come out once the sun is well below the horizon and produce a bright yellow green light that blinks on and off in the gathering night.

Sitting outside in the warm night air, we watched as the darkness of the woods was lit by the twinkling lights and mating rituals of the Lightning Bugs, or Fireflies as known to non-Southerners, meeting and creating beautiful luminescence together.

Close your eyes and think back to the long hot summers of childhood.
Playing outside until late in the evening, sitting on the front porch eating ice-cold watermelon slices, listening to the crickets chirp, and the tree frogs sing.
Remember catching Lightning Bugs and keeping them in a Mason jar ?
They glowed beside you all night long sitting on your night table....
Innocence and childhood going hand in hand.

We cannot recapture our childhood, but we can still enjoy the magic of the Lightning Bugs, nature's living lanterns............

20 comments:

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Jo!! 'Lightning Bugs' are something from my childhood that have such great memories for me! I still look for them, and love them! I 'thought' I saw them last night, but it must be my eyes playing tricks on me--I think it's still too early here in Virginia. But I know they'll be here soon enough!!

Betsy said...

I love them! I don't get them until June...the sure sign that summer has begun!

In May, we have junebugs...don't like them as much! lol....

Denise said...

Hi Jo, I always remember the first time I noticed lightning bugs. We were driving down to see my in-laws and I saw twinkling lights in the trees, all the way down for 300 miles. It was one magical ride. I always look forward to seeing them.

Mama-Bug said...

I so love fireflies! They are almost a rarity here in my neck of the woods. We see only a few here and there and it always thrills me to see them.

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

I have only encounter once in our local forest !

myomyohi said...

Love this post. I love lightning bugs. They aren't out in Ohio yet, but I anticipate their arrival.

donna baker said...

Jo, I saw one the other night out the front window. But only one so far.

Babs said...

Jo, I love to see Lightening Bugs and haven't looked outside this year for them..but I will tonight.
I saw in a nature program about rare synchronized ones in TN. Do you have those in your area? We just have the "regular" ones here. Thanks for the fun post.
Babs

Country Gal said...

As kids we used to catch them. Now we just watch all other kids reaction to these beautiful creatures. Lovely photo and post brought back great memories. Have a good day !

Barbara Anne said...

Oh, yes! My west Tennessee childhood evenings were lit by lightning bugs - kept in the one jar that my mom let me put very small holes in its lid. Even lightning bugs needed fresh air!

I noticed last summer they seem fewer and I hope that's not true.

Hugs!

Stew said...

It's funny that we don't have them in my neighborhood. I always enjoy them when visiting others though. Somehow fireflys and fishflys don't mix so we don't get them.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Good Morning Jo!
I remember being thrilled when one evening I was with my cousins home near the forest and we saw fireflies. This was in Manitoba Canada! That's the only time I remember seeing them until I moved to Kansas in 2000. I was amazed the first time I saw them...they were all over the place and it was like seeing little fairies carrying lanterns! Since fireflies like moisture I'm afraid we may not see any this year if the drought continues. Loved your post...enjoy your fairies with lanterns ;)
Maura :)

Sandra said...

I spent many happy hours catching lightning bugs and putting them in a jar, but none of my jars were as beautiful as this one is

Clipped Wings said...

I love lightning bugs in the early evening. Should start seeing them here in maybe a month. Right now it is the 13 year cicadas in every nook and cranny of the yard. I'd never seen either until moving to the south. In Panama, Central America, the bugs that lit up did look like flies, so calling them fireflies fit them well.

George said...

I wonder if children still chase and capture lightning bugs the way we did.

Stacy said...

Beautiful photo! We noticed the lightening bugs just the other evening. Just so much that reminds us of our youth: lightening bugs, honeysuckle... before you know it the Junebugs will be here too! :)

Diane said...

Kids have probably been putting firefliesm as we call them, in jars since jars were invented!

Great post. I really enjoy your blog.

Frank's Corner said...

My mother would have loved this post. She grew up in Iowa and we spent many summers back there on her aunt's farm. I remember capturing fireflies (poor things) and trying to bring them back to California. My mother would so have enjoyed everything on your blog. Thank you for the memory.

Roxie said...

No fireflies in Oregon, but ice-cold watermelon - yes!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I saw one of these in Ontario, Canada in the summer of 06; what I saw was exactly what is described here. It was really cool to see it in the grass by my house and I have always wondered what it was.