Illuminating the darkness

Every evening, all the year round unless it’s pouring down rain and sometimes even then, we sit outdoors for a while in the darkness after supper. It’s been years and years and years since there’ve been any, but last night we were very pleased to see several fireflies. Someone in Houston maintains a set of firefly pages, reporting that there’s been a decline there over the years. One of the possible reasons advanced for the decline is brightness of street lamps. This is discounted, but it is true that we stopped seeing them once a new luminaire was mounted, and it’s on the fritz right now and we’ve suddenly started hearing more owls. I don’t know why some call our evening-brighteners fireflies and some call them lightning bugs and I don’t know why they vanished and I don’t know why they’ve reappeared, but I hope that we’ll never again go so long without seeing any.

3 Comments so far

  1. mss (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 7:01 am

    I think the wet spring has contributed to the amazing firefly population this year. Even in dry years when they’re not in my yard, I see them down at Zilker Botanical where there is plenty of water. This year, my yard has been thick with them.

    I feel so sorry for children who grow up never seeing them.

  2. Donna (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    Last year was pretty good for fireflies, at least where i lived then. (Airport and 51st) But i have noticed an earlier start to the fireflies this year, so I’m guessing that there will be a large abundance of them until July, which is great.

  3. Pat (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

    They’re circling the drain, along with the rest of us. ‘Tis a pity, yes.

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