Lightning bugs

Ahh, another one of those quintessential summer things, lightning bugs… So, I was wondering if the difference between lightning bug and firefly is regional. I’ve always heard them called lightning bugs around here, and many other areas, but some places we’ve traveled, they seem to be fireflies. Anybody know?

Anyway, while the drought is most definitely keeping mosquito levels down (no complaint from me there), the lightning bugs seem to be extra prolific this year. I’ve been out the past few nights after sunset, and have been amazed by the numbers of neon yellow flashers floating around. The closest comparison I came up with is that it’s like standing in a dark stadium with thousands of camera flashes (which, incidentally is a complete waste – most flashes only illuminate several yards in front of the camera, so that action a hundred yards away? Makes me laugh every time). I wish I could take a picture or video to capture it, but unfortunately, cameras aren’t quite as awesome as the human eye, so the only option is to experience it in person. The natural world is pretty cool.

One thing I’ve also noticed is that the flashes appear to be getting shorter. When I was younger, it always seemed that the light was more of a slow pulse (which made it easier to track and catch them), while now it’s more of a quick flash. Maybe it’s just because you move so much quicker when you’re younger, so everything seems slower. Or some unfortunate by-product of global warming.

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