Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I love lightning bugs. They've have been an endless source of entertainment lately and have been especially psychedelic for the last couple of evenings. Apparently, I'm not the only one who's fascinated by the buggers. Quote of the day.
“...It’s very, very easy to talk to fireflies.” ~Dr. Sara Lewis
So it is. [h/t Jules Siegel]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]
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Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

I read someplace that fireflies were disappearing for some reason. Glad to hear you have them in your neck of the woods. I've never seen them here in Hawaii.

I remember them from small-kid time in NJ. They were a big part of the magic of the Summer, a generous time for us grateful kids --Almost three months off from school, nearly six extra hours of daylight, all the kids in the neighborhood free to play all day, every day. Cherries on the trees and picnics in the back yards and fireflies to say goodnight. We'd try to catch them in jars, and make magic lanterns.

Actually, I never did that. They were too easy to kill by accident. Fireflies just looked like bugs close up, trapped and trying to escape their glass prisons. But hovering over us all in the darkness, they were something special. So we let them go.

Enjoy the summer, Libby. The best things in life have so far escaped the corporatocracy. Like fireflies from a jar.

3:12:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I've never been big on catching them either. Did it a couple of times as a kid, but I'd also rather just let them do their magic in the open. I'm also of the era when kids could stay out until after dark in the neighborhood without adult supervision. Gentler times...

Hope you're enjoying your summer too.

9:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

We have fireflies now, but when it gets really dry, they disappear. I trapped a firefly once, was just crushed when it died. That was my last time.

10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

According to the article by Dr. Lewis, the adults only live for a couple of weeks once they big enough to flash. If you like fireflys you should read the link. I was watching them with a whole new perspective last night.

And I also had the same experience as a kid with a firefly dying in the jar. Also why I stopped catching them.

1:20:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I don't think I've ever seen one in South Florida, but of course if you were out after dark, you'd need a beekeeper suit to keep the mosquitos from bleeding you dry. They're serious things here - 4 engines and covered with gun turrets like a B-29, but at least they scare away the alligators.

Was it really safer for kids years ago - or have we become trembling chickens after 50 years of media fear mongering? Maybe it's moot since they all have video games and computers and big screen TV and don't spend evenings looking at the sky or hunting fireflies in the back yard.

It's hard to imagine one's best childhood memories being about shooting people on a TV screen or standing around in groups text messaging other kids standing around in other groups. . .

2:34:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

There is a certain selectiveness to childhood memories but it's not all paranoia. The world is a more dangerous place. I wouldn't let my kid go out alone in the same way I did even 30 years ago.

But it is very sad that so many kids have no connection with nature anymore.

3:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Most modern suburbs and healthy small towns are probably just as safe today as our hometowns were in the 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's. Maybe even safer, for the increased awareness of risks and heightened security, sad as all that is.

On the other hand, I can't picture our atomized, sprawling exurban subdivisions with everyone sitting outside on a porch or a patio or in a gazebo, chatting with their neighbors while all the kids ran around in the dark. People may know their immediate neighbors on either side and across the street today, but I doubt that they know anybody else in the nabe'. And I'll bet they rarely ever share quality time with them outdoors, especially at night.

The real danger to kids these days, as per the Capt's comment, is isolation and lack of parental involvement in their "playtime" on the computer and the cell phone. Our parents pretty much knew who our friends were, or at least what they looked like, and where we were most of the time, more or less, at least up until early adolescence. But where are you when you are in cyberspace? And whom are you with? I'm sure the parents don't know. And it's their isolation, even within the family, and from their neighbors that is the real threat.

Better for the lightning bugs, though.

8:45:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It's true Cosa. People don't get to know their neighbors any more.

10:32:00 AM  

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