Saturday, June 04, 2022

Flashes In The Dark

      I worked late at the North Campus last weekend, leaving well after midnight.  It's a small industrial building in the middle of a very large fenced enclosure, which over the past thirty-plus years has gone from scrubby field to landscaped, well-mowed lawn and back to tall-grown pasture (mowed along the fences for security), as zoning and corporate tastes have varied.  The site has had critters ranging from voles, groundhogs, rabbits and deer to moles, Great Blue herons (which eat moles), foxes and hawks. (And the occasional large black vulture.)

      So when I caught sight of yellow-green glints from the field as I was departing, I thought it was animal eyes -- until I realized none of them were in pairs, and they were well away from any source of light.

      It was something else.

      Fireflies.  Lightning bugs.

      They're out early.  In the large, open field, all I had to do is pick a direction and look, and they'd oblige, lighting up and going out all across it, scattered, rapid, random.

      They still haven't shown up in the city.  Warmer weather usually brings them out.  Some years, I have ridden my bicycle through diffuse gatherings of them,  hovering around head level and moving aside as I approach.  It's just about magical.


Cop Car said...

Great! (Except that it means you've had hot weather - groan.) I'm keeping watch for fireflies, but haven't yet seen them this year.

fillyjonk said...

we have lots of them here, even in my nearly-downtown-in-a-small city yard.

Every winter I forget their existence, and then am surprised and delighted when I see them in the summer and am like "oh yeah, lightning bugs exist!"

RandyGC said...

One of the things I don't realize I miss living in the suburbs are large groups of fireflies in the summer like I used to see growing up in the country.

I did not know that Herons ate moles. My interesting tidbit for the day. Thanks

Antibubba said...

My wife grew up in California, and has never lived in firefly country. Videos and my attempts to explain the magic fall short.