Friday, May 1, 2009


I suppose it's somewhat odd to speak of a favorite insect, but my favorite is probably the firefly. In my mind, fireflies mean summer, no matter what time of year it is. And I love warm summer evenings, when I can be outside in shorts and a t-shirt in perfect comfort.

Here in East Tennessee we have a species of firefly called "photinus carolinus" that has the unique ability to synchronize flashes with others of the species. The only other species known to do this lives in Asia. It's evidently quite the spectacle, as you can read here: Fireflies in Unison. Hundreds of people gather each June in the meadows and clearings of the Smokies to watch the fireflies put on a show.

We've never gone to see the synchronized fireflies, but we have quite a few non-synchronized fireflies here on the farm. I love to walk through the gardens at night and watch them flash their lights. Last night we had rain approaching, so I watched the clouds roll in against the darkening sky as the first fireflies of the season began to glow among the trees. It was magical. I wish I could recreate it for you.

The lovely photo in this post comes from Firefly Crossings - a charity that provides vacation resort stays to familes with terminally ill children to allow them to relax together and create lasting memories. I think this is a wonderful idea and I hope this charity grows and expands, and then I further hope that one day there will be no more need for such things. I imagine the folks at Firefly Crossings would agree with me on that last bit!


DayPhoto said...

My mother's people come from Texas, so every summer and for Thanksgiving off we would go to Texas. I love the fire flys! They are magical in thier own right.

I wish everyone could see them!


Anonymous said...

Fireflies remind me of being young and chasing them around the yard. The charity you linked us to sounds like a real blessing. My sister had a child who passed away at age 3 and the Make a Wish foundation made his last Christmas a very memorable one. There are no words to express gratitude for that gift of love.

Darla said...

I love to see them too! They love to fly around pine trees here.

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

I have never seen a real firefly. I think they are so cool though. I think the closest I came was the fake ones in Disneyland or tv.

You're a real lucky ducky. :)

Susie said...

When I was little we use to catch them in jars. They are such neat insects.

Terri said...

Linda, I remember them in East Texas - not West Texas!

Mildred, I'm sorry to hear about your sister's little one. The Make
A Wish Foundation is another great charity, isn't it?

Darla, we don't have that many pine trees here, but the fireflies are everywhere this time of year.

Heidi, you'll have to come to the Smokies one of these days and see some real ones!

Susie, we did that, too!


TC said...

I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for a family to go through such trauma as losing a sibling, mother, or father to a terminal illness. I get terribly sad just thinking about it.

This is the first I've heard about synchronized fireflies. I bet they'd go good in a show with synchronized swimmers don't you think? I bet it'd be a really "unribea" experience. Lightning bugs are still a ways off from showing up here. I hear there's a company that buys them if you collect enough.

Daisy said...

I love the fireflies too. Those and probably butterflies would be my favorite insects. I like ladybugs too. :)

Hope you are having a good weekend, Terri.

Amy said...

I never saw any fireflies growing up. I love living here in Northeast GA. We have lots of firelfies and the kids love chasing them.

Julia said...

I have never seen firefly's and want to like bad. Since my husband has a hankerin' for Nashville maybe we will make it out for vacation some year and I can see them for myself! Meanwhile I will enjoy that which you provide.