Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nature Notes: Fairy Lights

I have heard that people are seeing fewer fireflies these days. It could be because they're all at my house.

Barn Dance

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


EG CameraGirl said...

Neat shots of the fireflies. I haven't seen ant yet this year. Have fun at your reunion!

Frank said...

Hey, now that is so cool.

Carver said...

Great shots of the fireflies. I have seen a few this summer but nothing like what you have.

Karen said...

Better than fireworks!

Derek Yarnell said...

Great shots.

Betty Luckhurst said...

I've always been intrigued by these little guys. Your photos are just wonderful!

Rambling Woods said...

Oh how much do I love this and how I envy you... I am still waiting here.... Michelle

Daryl said...

awesome and again i am envious of your photo ops

simply bev said...

Terrific shots! I'm not seeing as many fireflies this year, but we've had a crazy amount of rain this summer so maybe they're just be hiding out for a while!

eileeninmd said...

Oh wow, they must all be at your house. It is raining here so I am not seeing any :(
Beautiful captures!

Have a happy weekend!

Debbie said...

i have so many here, i never thought of trying to photograph them!!