“In a Flash”

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Saturday night we had the joy of watching fireflies dancing around our back yard. My granddaughter, entranced by the sight, had never seen them before. We hadn’t seen them in a couple of summers either, though I am not sure if they weren’t there or if we just weren’t outside at the right moment.

One of my blog friends loves maps, so I  have posted one of my favorite kinds–a geography of word usage. In the map of the United States shown above you can see in what part of the country people call these little creatures fireflies and where they are called lightning bugs. Actually until I found this map I thought they were two different insects! I first saw them in Pike, New York which is just in the firefly part of the state. Our part of Connecticut also uses firefly as a name. I don’t know if these bugs are around the world or not. If they are, could you tell me what you call them?

As kids at my grandparents’ farm we tried to catch them in jars. I don’t think we were ever successful, but we had a great time running after them as they flitted and flashed away. A true summer treat, little lights flickering on and off around the yard.

33 thoughts on ““In a Flash”

  1. I guess I’ve always known them by both names, Elizabeth. But then, I’ve moved around bit. I certainly can’t tell if they are worldwide, but we do have them here in Italy, and we call them Lucciole, or Lucciola in the singular. Light in Italian is luce, so the lucciole are literally “little lights,” which I think is a great name!

  2. Yes, chasing those lightning bugs in our part of the country. I noticed some the other night. Maybe about 10 of them in the back yard. They are relaxing to me, I sit there and try to follow them wondering where they will flash next.

  3. I never saw any in Seattle. I looked it up and apparently the fireflies are here but don’t usually glow. I was happy to finally see some in Kansas on a cross-country trip a few years ago.

  4. Loved chasing fireflies as a kid. I would bring them in my room in a jar and keep them there for the night. Sadly whether it was the conditions or just their short lifespan they never lasted that long.

  5. There is something about the thrill of the catch, even as a child. I remember catching many a butterfly when I was a kid. My brother is the vice president of the North American Butterfly Association, and he would be mortified. Thank goodness my appreciation of nature is to now capture things with a camera.

  6. We’ve been seeing a lot of them here too, including other wildlife I never noticed before. We had our first snake sighting in the yard this year, as well as tonnes of bunnies hopping around. I even saw a chipmunk yesterday, which is also a first. I didn’t even know Georgia had chipmunks!! The only time I ever saw one was in New England.

    That said, Jamaicans call fireflies peeniwally. 😅

        1. From the mass deforestation when so much more of the state was farmed. It is not ideal farm land and those early settlers moved west eventually leaving the land to grow back.

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