It's July in Indiana and the fireflies are out.
I went out to the garage to replenish my bottled water supply a few minutes ago. It wasn't dark yet, barely twilight, but I looked down and saw an airborne firefly flash from behind, a little outline glow, blurred by the cloak of his busy wings.
I anthropomorphize. I admit it: I said, "Good luck, buddy. Hope you find true love."
He flashed again. Another lightning bug, a bit bigger, swooped in, just a little higher and slightly behind, and flashed as well. They were both idling slowly forward and down. I projected their path and there, on a broad, heart-shaped leaf, was another firefly. It -- she -- flashed twice.
The smaller flier landed and sidled up next to her. She moved away. The bigger one landed and with all three on the leaf, I could see he was bigger than I'd thought, a real Hercules of light-up bugs. She moved towards him and they proceeded to...well. It's what comes naturally to fireflies this time of year. It's impolite to stare.
The little guy moved to the edge of the leaf, gathered himself with a quick shake, and took to the air. I told him, "Better luck next time. I'm sure you'll find your match."
He flashed his light, pivoted and cruised slowly off, all attention on the ground, hoping for a reply.
Good luck, fireflies. Good luck to all of you and best wishes for even more wonderful evening glowing.
Those little bugs, hovering and shining their signals on a summer's night, are about as magical as it gets in this world.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
7 months ago