Two Teens And Their Mama: Memories of Fireflies

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Memories of Fireflies


Today I saw a fascinating story on CBS News about fireflies.  Every summer, in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, there is a two week period where thousands of synchronous fireflies gather in swarms for their yearly mating ritual.  The beautiful spectacle draws people from all around to see the forest lit up with lightning bugs.  

I was immediately transported back to my childhood in North Carolina.  On random nights during summer, mom would give us an early bath, and then wearing our pajamas and carrying a glass jar, we would spend an hour or so in the backyard catching fireflies.  It was magical, and one of the most vivid memories of my youth.  Capturing them wasn't an easy task - they lit up for a brief moment, and then disappeared again into the inky night. I remember being so thrilled when I actually managed to catch one.

Once our jars were full, mom would let us watch them blinking for a while.  But then it was time to open the lid and set them free - so that we could catch them another night.

When I was in the fifth grade, my father was transferred to Seattle.  Fireflies prefer warm, humid regions, and they aren't found on the west coast.  I haven't seen the magic of a firely since I was eleven.

Looking back, I think we've given our boys a pretty good childhood, and there aren't many things they've missed out on.

Except fireflies.  I wish they had memories of fireflies.

Linking up with Motivation Monday.

26 comments:

  1. This brings back memories! We used to do the same thing and now I'm realizing I have not seen any fireflies yet this summer!

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you see some before summer is over!

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  2. I grew up in Calgary, but every few years we would visit my grandparents in the east. I remember the magic of firefly evenings... And the night I ran into an electric fence! My children had special bug boxes, made by my dad, which they used to house their fireflies when we lives in Ohio. Thanks for bringing back these memories!

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    1. That's neat that your dad made special bug boxes! Ouch - running into an electric fence?

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  3. I have never seen a firefly- they probably don't like snow. I feel like I'm missing out!

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    1. Yeah, I don't think they like cold or snow. I hope you get to see them someday!

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  4. Another one of those idyllic childhood memories. I miss them!

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  5. I have a bucket list and one of the items on my bucket list is to see a real live firefly. I live in Alberta and I have never encountered one.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

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    1. I think you will have to go south!

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  6. What a magical memory! I've never seen a firefly, either. My life is poorer for it . . .

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    1. I read your blog every day, and your life sounds fascinating! But if you get the chance to see a firefly...

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  7. Love your post. It really touched me what you said about your boys. I agree that catching fireflies is one of the magical things of childhood. I did it and my kids did, too, when they were little. I'm glad you mentioned that about Tennessee. I didn't know that and I'll keep it in mind for the future as we like to spend vacation days in Tennessee. Maybe one of these days you guys will travel and be in the right place at the right time! :) Debbie @ ilovemylemonadelife.com

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    1. Thanks so much Debbie! I definitely hope to show my boys fireflies one of these days. Hope you get to see them in Tennessee - it sounds amazing!

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  8. Fireflies are so magical and fascinating! You´re so lucky to have experienced seeing them in their glowing glory in your childhood and it´s never too late for your boys to see them when you´ll go on vacation out there one of these days. :)

    http://dressingupforme.blogspot.com/

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    1. They really are magical. I hope to show them to the boys someday.

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  9. Ah, what a lovely memory! It's not too late for your boys! It will happen, and they will then treasure their memories too- just at different ages. :)

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  10. Stopping by from Turn It Up Tuesday. Your post brings back memories of my childhood. We spent hours catching fireflies. My grandson loves catching them when he visits. I hope your children get to experience the thrill of catching them one day too.

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    1. How fun that you get to catch fireflies with your grandson!

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  11. Lana, What a sweet story and great memory! I love that. I wish we had fireflies here. I do remember as a child seeing them in Wisconsin where my mom is from. Magical!

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    1. Don't you wish we had them on the West Coast? They really are magical.

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  12. Lovely...I used to catch them in New England, and I will enjoy seeing them with my little guy in Chicago.

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  13. I also share this fond memory and this summer while my niece was here visiting we got out the glass jar and showed her what to do. She was amazed! Then I think how crazy our parents where to let us run through the yard carrying a glass jar! We survived I guess just thought it was funny!

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  14. Yes! I loved catching fireflies as a child. I bet this place in the Smoky Mountains would be downright magical! #typeaparent

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  15. Beautifully written. I grew up in VA and my sister & I used to catch fireflies as kids. My son just turned 5 and has started seeing them in NC where I now live. But only on weekend nights we he can stay up late enough for it to get dark! I'm amazed by the number I see. Good reminder to get him outside one evening before the summer is over and teach him to catch a few. #typeaparent

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