Fireflies

Recently, on a walk with my god daughter, we both became enthralled with the occasional flicker of lightening bugs. I keep meaning to go on a firefly expedition with her. We all have memories of capturing them in jars (and hopefully letting them out before too long). I have cousins that would try to make glowing rings out of them — cruelty seems so innocent in the guise of discovery.

So, this morning, I was happy to see an article in New York Times about the complicated life of a firefly. It claims they live for 2 years underground and then average only 2 weeks above ground mating. That fact alone amazes me. And their larvae glow. There are more males than females. The desired males, get this, give protein gifts upon mating! I love that. “Here you are, have some food to help your stamina.” Such grace and practicality in their passion.

Maybe my soul mate escaped from the bottom of a jar one summer day? His promise of sustenance fading away, seeking his own kind. Ah the glow — if only I’d understood in time.

Enjoy your summer spectacles.

One response to “Fireflies

  1. My recollection from my entomology is that there a couple of different kinds of fireflies, and that the females of each will mimic the light patterns of the other species in order to lure males of the opposite species in and eat them!

    This by way of maybe consoling those of us who, during our innocent explorations of nature growing up, may have smothered more fireflies than we wish we had!

    Looking forward to seeing you in a week!

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