I can remember, as a young girl, collecting a bunch of fireflies in a mason jar, adding some springs of greenery or flowers and placing them on the window sill overnight. All would be dark for the longest time and I would worry if they were going to be okay until morning when I would set them free. But then a car would go by on the street and the headlights would momentarily flash upon the walls and all the little fireflies would light up and flash back. It always made me laugh. Since there was very little traffic at night on our road, I would sometimes use a flashlight with the same results.
My all time favorite as an adult though, is to walk outside among them. Most of the time they just move away from me, intent upon their own important agenda for the night. But every once in a while they magically surround me, and what a special treat that is! Up close, fireflies really glow most brilliantly in various shades of green and yellow. The differences are very subtle unless you are paying close attention.
There are over 1,000 different types of fireflies worldwide and each species has its own unique series of flashes, sort of like morse code, that attracts a mate of their own kind. Some flash their lights on and off, while others will beam a steady glow. They really are very fascinating little creatures!!!
One night, sitting on the screen porch watching the continuous parade of lights, I wrote a poem about them that I would like to share with you.
The dazzling colors of the sunset have faded,
and a hush has come over the earth.
Dusk creeps up, softly, silently,
until darkness overtakes the light of day
so subtly that it takes me by surprise.
The crickets pull out their miniature violins
and begin tuning up for their nightly serenade.
Suddenly, there is a tiny flash of light,
so minute and rapid
that I'm not really certain I've seen it at all.
But wait, there it is again, and yet again,
and before I know it,
there are thousands of miniscule lights everywhere!
Some blink rapidly,
looking like a neon sign for which I can't quite make out all the words.
Others glimmer slowly and leisurely,
moving along in a line like so many tiny fairies
carrying itty bitty lanterns to light their way.
Countless others, like Christmas lights
strewn haphazardly among the trees,
flash festively into the night.
What infinite joy it is to sit on my back porch
and take in this spectacular light show,
set to the delightful tune of the "All Bug Chorus".
Now go outside and look for fireflies!!!!