At the end of each school year, the country school I attended would hold an evening picnic. There would be a pick-up ball game, adults and students playing together, followed by a weiner roast and potluck supper. As daylight faded, children entertained themselves by catching fireflies. Some with forethought had brought along glass jars in which to hold the insects. Others held the fireflies captive between two hands, spreading fingers slightly to watch the lights inside.
My memories of those nights are hazy. I remember few details. Except for the fireflies. I never forget the fireflies.
“Fireflies in the Garden By Robert Frost 1874–1963
Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.”
Warm skies, the stars are listening.
Country night sings her song.
Fireflies light the distance.
Making me want to sing along.
– Ruthie Foster
A BEETLE BY ANY OTHER NAME
We call them fire flies or lightning bugs. We call their larvae glow worms.
Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer;
Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
But they are not flies. They are not bugs. And they are not worms.
They are beetles. And they are bioluminescent throughout every cycle of their lives. Even their eggs glow.
They are the world’s most efficient light producers. They produce cold light, too, which is lucky for them. If their flickering produced as much heat as it does light, they would likely be burned to a crisp.
Their light is their language; it is how they talk to others of their species.
So many fascinating scientific facts to be learned if you stay outside to watch the fireflies.
“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.”
― Ama H. Vanniarachchy
What’s more, we’re having fun doing it.
I wish I was a glow worm,
A glow worm’s never glum.
“cos how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum.
– author unknown
Magic and memories. Fascinating facts and fun. All in the great outdoors.
The recipe for a perfect summer.