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Saturday, June 5, 2010

THOUSANDS OF FIREFLIES FLASHING -- SUNDAY SIMPLICITIES

SYNCHRONOUS FIREFLY FLASHING, DIFFICULT TO SEE, LOOK FOR TINY WHITE LIGHTS
fLICKR PHOTO:
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On the first evening of June about 10 PM I was letting my dogs out the front door for their last call.. I usually let them out the back but this night I was being lazy and knew the front door would be quicker. As I opened the door I was greeted with a spectacular phenomenon the likes of which I had never seen before in my life.

I live on a ridge of Bear Mountain and have a surround view of the mountains up to their tops and also a narrow low-lying, flatland fissure that runs below which they call a holler in Kentucky. What I quickly saw in front of me was a light show of thousands of fireflies (lightning bugs) flashing all along the holler below rising upward to the tops of the surrounding mountains. I slowly stepped outside completely in awe of such a remarkable display. I sat watching for about fifteen or twenty minuets, then bid the fireflies goodnight telling them that I would be back tomorrow.

SAL, MR CURIOUS, SITS ON THE PORCH HELPING ME WATCH FOR FIREFLIES

The next evening, I sat on my front porch during the same time and place as last night, but no thousands of fireflies? Fireflies yes, it was the usual number that I see at this time every year. Then I went out again the following couple nights, same time, same place, and again only saw the usual amount of flickering firefly lights. Nothing to even come close to what I saw on that first evening in June. I scratched my head and wondered what type of occurrence had happened on that first night when so many fireflies were flashing like small twinkle lights all up and down the valley heights?

WE SPOT A COUPLE FIREFLIES ON SUBSEQUENT NIGHTS.

Yesterday I received my June/July issue of National Wildlife Magazine and there was an article about fireflies, Photinus carolinus, and their synchronized flashing -- flashing by the thousands. These occurrences were mentioned as happening in the Great Smokey Mountains in June around 9PM to 10PM. Could this be a similar event that I witnessed?

The magazine described the incredible flashing display as starting out in the dozens, expanding to the hundreds and then into the thousands.They flash together for 4 seconds then pause10 to 12 seconds. The flashing is actually a way for males and females to connect to each other -- it's their "come hither" flash that promotes the species.

Perhaps it's a once in a lifetime occurrence for someone like myself to observe? No matter if it was a flashing synchronous firefly show or some wonder of the cosmos, to me it appeared as another of nature's beautiful mysteries.

13 comments:

  1. How lucky you were to have been present at such a magical moment!

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  2. Thanks Vicki -- nature has its mysteries! -- barbara

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  3. Vicki posted the exact phrase I had planned to post yesterday, but couldn't get the "Net to behave! Indeed: a "lucky" lady to have been there to see such a specatacular occurence. I confess my envy!

    Elora

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  4. Your Sal looks exactly like our dearly departed Ralphy! We had a firefly in the house last night. He kept lighting his little bulb around the TV screen. Amazing, aren't they?

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  5. Elora -- so nice to receive your thoughts. The net can be difficult for sure. Yesterday morning my broadband went down, then finally got it up after a few phone calls. OK, fingers poised to use the internet and found that the broadband had screwed up something when it went down so in order to get everything to run smoothly had to reset the computer twice. Trying sometimes, but it is still a wonderful technology! -- barbara

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  6. Willow, So difficult to lose a dog -- in my eyes they are family. A home is so quiet without them.
    Fireflies are amazing. My kids always loved to poke holes in a jar lid and screw it on a jar, then put it beside their bed with a fire fly inside for a light. After they fell asleep, I would sneak in and release the poor devil to the night sky.

    Thanks for your welcome comment -- barbara

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  7. Barbara, what a wonderful sight! How nice that you were able to take in the show. I've been noticing the fireflies here the last few nights, but not in unusual numbers.
    I love the picture of Sal.

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  8. What a magical sight that must have been. I am going to add seeing a firefly lightshow to my wishlist,along with seeing the Aurora Borealis.

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  9. barefootheart -- it was one night of extravaganza and then back to the basics. Sal is my "character" dog -- so very curious about everything. Thanks for stopping by-- barbara

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  10. LiD -- Yes, it was magical. So nice of you to stop by. I am trying to prepare for family visits and have been falling behind with reading all the blogs on my sidebar. I really enjoy reading them and learn so much from them. Lots of catching up to do. -- barbara

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  11. That would have been such a magical sight to see, you lucky gal :)

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  12. Jayne -- Each and every day and each and every moment nature has something magical to offer us. Don't you agree. -- thanks -- barbara

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  13. I wonder...do the twinkling lights of New York City count as being beautiful as well? The string of fireflies in your picture reminded me of city lights. Both beautiful but in very different ways. I guess this statement of mine qualifies me as more of a city than country gal despite being in love with nature :).

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