Saturday, August 10, 2019

Flittering Fireflies

I'm sitting outside on my patio (a frequent writing spot), pondering nature, summertime, and the start of dusk. Given the time of evening, memories flood back of being a barefoot kid in Illinois, running through the soft grass of the back yard, with a lidded glass jar in hand. That lid had a good 8-10 holes punched in it with an ice pick. (I don't even have an ice pick as an adult.) My jar had a bed of that grass at a bottom, sometimes an additional stick, or a rock, or a cap full of water at the bottom to serve as a little watering trough. Things to make it home-y.

The intended apartment dwellers for this little glass suite?  Fireflies.

Quintessential childhood at its best! My kids right now are too old to take too much pleasure in this childhood classic, but they've had their fair share of firefly hunting in the past. Probably not as much over the years as I had back in the day, being a product of the '70s. Sadly these days, probably more kids trade in nature's flittering firefly lights for flashing lights on handheld devices. But the magic is still there in those little night-lighting lightning bugs.

At least for a little bit. Firefly numbers are indeed flittering and are on the decline. Between light pollution (which gets in the way of natural darkness/best canvas to see these little guys AND gets in the way of how they communicate with each other). Additionally, the decline in the health of their environments & habitats hasn't helped. Water pollutants affect the water health where the lighting bug lifecycle starts. Plus, growing cities interfere with the availability of natural space. From the Fireflyers International Network website:
"Fireflies are bio-indicators of the health of the environment and are declining across the world as a result of degradation and loss of suitable habitat, pollution of river and water systems, increased use of pesticides in agro-ecosystems, non-regulated commercial harvesting and increased ecological light pollution in areas of human habitation. The decline of fireflies is a cause for concern and reflects the global trend of increasing biodiversity loss."
Check out the following for some more firefly facts:
Unfortunately my timing on lightning bugs is late this year, given we missed the 2nd annual World Firefly Day this year: July 6-7 (overnight, for obvious illuminating reasons!).

Who knew! But that just means there's time to mark the calendar and plan ahead for next year!!

In the meantime, maybe it's time to go catch (or count) a few fireflies!!

Image from and; screenshot from

No comments :

Post a Comment