Fourth of July is a time to celebrate freedom/America with friends, family, food and fireworks. This Fourth of July, I am so excited that I get to see nature’s fireworks: Fireflies. I know that is super super corny, but it’s true! I mean, they’re not very impressive to look at in the light. They’re pretty much just dull-looking little beetles:
You get them out there in the dark when they’re looking for a mate (or prey, in the case of female Photurids), though, and they will put on the most beautifully choreographed bioluminescent display that the sky has to offer.
Lampyrids are pretty widespread globally, but they’re not very common and kind of tucked away in Arizona (I’ve only spoken with two or three people who have seen them there), which is my home state. When I found out that I would be in Firefly territory during Firefly season (which is apparently basically all year in Pennsylvania), I was ecstatic. The last time I had seen them, prior to coming to Pennsylvania, was when I was ten years old and I visited my family in Maryland. My cousins and I would go out at night and catch them in jars and release them in their rooms and then just sit there with the lights off, talking and watching them until we fell asleep. It was magical. Last Saturday, I saw my first Firefly since then and I was probably about as excited as I was when I was ten. I love just sitting outside at night (weather permitting) and watching them.
Although it makes me sad to be clear across the country from my friends and family, it is comforting to know that I can rub it in their faces that on this Fourth of July, I will be celebrating by watching the most amazing fireworks show of them all.