Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we went to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee for a camping trip/family reunion. Late Saturday and Sunday nights, we saw a most amazing sight: the blue ghost fireflies.
I had first seen these fireflies last year when a friend told me about them. A gentleman in our community, Mr. Don Lewis, has acreage out in the country that is heavily wooded, and each May he invites people to his land to watch the fireflies. We went on Mother’s Day, a good time to go since it wasn’t crowded, and witnessed these beautiful insects.
The blue ghost fireflies don’t blink – they just glow – and fly low near the ground. If you catch one and shine a light on it, you can see that it’s dark in color and only about as big as a grain of rice. But when you let it go again, it will fly and glow a beautiful luminescent blue color. There were quite a few of these fireflies in Tennessee this year, glowing back in the woods, much like little blue fairies.
Mr. Lewis has found other types of fireflies on his land as well. Besides those that blink intermittently, he’s also discovered some that blink at exactly the same time, as if they were synchronized.
Though we’ve learned a lot about fireflies from Mr. Lewis, he taught us another lesson as well. He encouraged us to go out and watch the fireflies in our own yard and woods, to sit in the dark and just see what appeared. What amazing wonders of nature we could observe if we just took the time to slow down, sit down, and see what comes into view, both during the day – and at night.