I have heard that people are seeing fewer fireflies these days. It could be because they're all at my house.
I've been trying for years to photograph the spectacular annual light show in our meadows with no luck at all until now. Though still not great, these are the best so far. They were taken with my new "nifty fifty" lens set for a 15-second exposure.
(For a much better look, please click the photos to enlarge them.)
Out here in the country, we have everything lightning bugs love and homeowner associations hate: Low hanging trees, rotting forest litter for larvae to grow in, standing water, and tall grass. We don't use chemicals and we don't have outdoor lights on at night, which can interfere with mating.
There are different species of fireflies, identifiable to some extent by the color and pattern of their flashes. To the naked eye, all these were yellow, and are probably Photinus. The males fly high and flash to attract females. The females answer from the grass below.
Once they have mated and laid eggs, the adults die. So, like so many magical things, summer nights filled with fireflies are fleeting and few.
* P.S. I'll be leaving Wednesday for a family reunion so I won't be able to visit right away, but I'll be sure to catch up when I'm back. Hope you all have a wonderful Fourth! *
Links for more about fireflies: Firefly.org / Firefly Watch on SciStarter / and Museum of Science Firefly Watch.
Visit Michelle's blog, Rambling Woods, for more Nature Notes