Sunday, hubby and I went to my parents’ house for dinner. The appearance of a lone firefly at dusk precipitated a crisis as we began to discuss fireflies (or lightning bugs in the South). Hubby grew up in upstate NY. As a kid, he remembered catching jars of fireflies and being fascinated with them.
I remember the same as a kid growing up in the South. The field beside our house would be lit up like a small city with fireflies. I would stand and watch, along with my brothers, fascinated. Yes, we caught them in jars and tried to keep them. I think any kid who kept a firefly overnight knows they don’t last in a jar. *sigh*
So where are they now? Why do you only see one every now and then? My house backs up to good ol’ Alabama woodland. I stood last night after we came home, waiting to see the woods light up. I saw ONE.
Do you think our perceptions as kids were skewed, that we only thought there were tons of them? Or do you think our modern environment has done something? The chemicals we use on our yards, the sprays for mosquitoes, the proliferation of chemical environmental control in our homes?
I just don’t know. I tried looking it up and got a variety of answers. 1) Mosquito chemicals are specific to mosquitoes. 2) Firefly habitats are disappearing as man encroaches. 3) Dry seasons aren’t conducive to firefly life cycles. You need rain and moist vegetation for fireflies to breed.
I don’t know, but it feels like a magical thing, especially for children, has disappeared from our lives. Do you remember fireflies? Did you grow up seeing millions of them light the night sky? Or did you grow up without them? If you remember them in the thousands and millions, do you ever wonder what happened to them?