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Fireflies

We don't have fireflies in Utah - it's too hot and dry. So they are one of the things I look forward to enjoying when I get back east. I recall seeing many on a trip to DeKalb, Illinois in the 80's, and always enjoy them whenever I'm on the Kellogg farm in Gap Mills.

The other night ToniAnne and I went into the countryside northeast of Harrisonburg to visit a friend. The conversation continued well into the gloaming, and we sat outside and watched the flashing jewels rise out of the grass and commence their nightly routine of "Here I am! Come boink me!" There were so many that the large trees on the property twinkled as though it were Christmas. I have never seen so many lightning bugs at once in my life.

Oh, yeah - and coming back from PonyCon we drove through the evening migration. Did you know that if a firefly is "on" when he hits your windshield, the blob of glup left behind continues glowing green for a few seconds...

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deckardcanine
Jun. 29th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
I accidentally crushed a firefly once. I felt sorry when I saw the glow.

Possibly my favorite insect. They make an ordinary yard look magical.
mermaidstitcher
Jun. 29th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
Love firefly, They are so much better then Love Bugs.If you don't get them off your car they will pit the paint. At least they are getting fewer and fewer. I remember Semi overheating because them.
kusanagi_sama
Jun. 29th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
We have fireflies here in North Texas. Not numerous like they were 20 years ago when we were up in Oklahoma to visit my relatives. In my town we have the tiny little ones, the quick flash ones. Where my parents live west of Forth Worth, they have both types: The quick flash and long flash ones (I assume are the big ones).

What creates the glow are symbiotic bacteria.
ccdesan
Jun. 30th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
The glow is actually created by the enzyme luciferase acting on luciferin, in the presence of magnesium ions, ATP, and oxygen. Some examples of bioluminescence are caused by symbiotic bacteria, such as in certain species of squid, but fireflies do not use this mechanism.
kusanagi_sama
Jun. 30th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know that. And knowing is half the battle.
alaskawolf
Jun. 30th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
i still want to crossbreed firefly's with mosquitoes :) i want to live where fireflys live

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