Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Fire in the Sky?

I remember being a kid and taking lightning bugs for granted.  Whether we lived in the city or the country (and I lived in both until 5th grade moving almost every year, sometimes twice in one school year), I just took for granted they would always light up my summer nights.  I remember when we lived in the country, the backyard would be ablaze with them and I could watch the show for hours.  They're the one bug I still talk to like it's a puppy if it lands on me rather than swat it away or scream.  If you're a child of the 90's or before, we all probably have some lightning bug "sins" we need forgiven for but it's part of what made them so magical.  Your own summertime night light with a few holes poked in the top for air with some grass.

When we moved in here when we were married 24 years ago, we could look out back and see at least 30 and would watch like kids.  That, of course, is when there was nothing in our area but our homes and fields.  Now, after all of the development has stripped us of our fields?  We have one.  Like literally one.   His little light flashing in the night hoping some other firefly will catch his signal and ask "your place or mine?"  For now, we just enjoy watching our little lightning bug whom I secretly call Sir Patrick Stewart flit above our heads in the tree, trying to guess where he'll light up next.

If you want to help do your part to help the lightning bug survive, this can show you a few easy things.

Do you have a lot of lightning bugs or have you noticed a severe drop off since your childhood?

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  1. We have quite a few in the later summer months. I think it's partially due to the field. The whole backyard will light up as they dance and mingle and it's very relaxing to watch.

  2. When I was a kid we had tons of fireflies and this was in the suburbs. That has definitely dropped off since then but even when we first moved in here we had way more the first year or so. I never minded having them around. It is funny how they are the friendly bug that are the one exception to any other insect in terms of having them land on you. I am not sure their trust in humans is in their best interest though.

  3. As a kid we lost our minds chasing them down. We could collect a mason jar full enough to act as a nightlight. I miss them. We have a dangerously steep hill in our back yard and have converted it to a meadow in hopes of helping the bees, butterflies, birds and other bugs.

  4. Where I grew up and where I live now are both too try for fireflies. I remember seeing them a couple of times when we visited my out of state grandparents and they were pretty neat, but I think both of my grandparents (maternal grandma, paternal grandpa) lived too far north for there to be a lot of them b/c I don't ever remember there being more than a few.

    The coolest firefly memory I have was when we went to Cozumel for spring break a few years ago. We went for a walk near the house we rented and the kiddo started asking what the weird lights in the bushes were. So we went and took a look and they were covered in fireflies. It was so neat, the most I'd ever seen in one place.


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